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Full text of "The divine oracles consulted, or, An appeal to the law and testimony"

DIVINE ORACLES 




BY. JAMES O'EELV.Y. 



HILLSBOROUGH, N. C. 

PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOl. 
D. Heartt, Printe?. 



TO contradict and hurt the feelings of good 
men, is not pleasant to the author, who h)ves 
friendship; but a public character, in a civil 
or a religious capacity, acting from principle 
of duty, should always be borne with. The 
treatise before you may have a different effect 
one men of different sentiments; seeing that 
religious characters are not as they were in 
the beginning, viz. " of one heart, and of one 
^^ind," The author can assure the reader, 
that if he knows himself, he is moved by prin- 
ciple of duty; hoping, that if some be dis- 
pleased, many others, who are not warped, 
but judge like those* who have not made up 
their minds, such may be benefited, provided 
the author be tolerably correct. You are so- 
licited to read in a cool dispassionate spirit, 
and be not too hasty in passings: sentence. If 
you should condemn the work, have mercy 
on the author — who will solemnly appeal to 
" the Law and Testimony." The writing is 
delivered in short sentences; by reason, plain 



IV 

texts are passed over. It is not wrgte like 
lecturing. The language is plain, like the au- 
thor, suited to the common people. ^s^^Try to 
memorize the subject, as to the scope of it, 
and treat it as you think just, for it is in your 
hand.«. Eemember the just Judge when he 
comes will burn up error, but save what is 
pure. I he closer we follow the truth, the 
purer we shall be, and the sooner be prepar- 
ed for happiness. Every word of God is pure. 
'' Add not.^V The pure stream is deeply Jm- 



pregnated with human invention. 




THE 



DIVINE ORACLES 

MATTHEW. 

CHAPTER L it* 

This cvengelical^ inspired author, called from the cus- 
tom house to be an apostle, introduces his narrative of 
glad ^dings to all people, by giving us a sketch of the 
Redeemer's pedigree, according to the flesh: but, as the 
prophet saith, Who shall decl^ire his generation? The an- 
sv/er is, (according to his divine origin) he is from ever- 
lasting, to everlasting, not fully known to men or angels! 
But as touching his humanity, he was born a Jew, from an 
eiect royal liTie, or family, as is set down in the book; not 
so as to enumerate every individual, who succeeded each 
other, but dividing them into forty-two generations. This 
blessed Jesus was the seed promised to our father Adam; 
whereby his soul was pardoned, and of course all his off- 
spring: as it is written, <* Behold the Lamb of God, who 
taketh away the sin of the world." The sacred history 
farther reports, that this holy virgin Mary, of the royal fa- 
mily, was promised to a worthy man of the same line, 
whose name was Joseph ; but before their marriage, it 
was discovered that Mary was pregnant, when Joseph in- 
tended to separate himself from her in a private manner. 
But the holy angel revealed the secret to him, as it is writ- 
ten—read the story. And it came to pass some time after 
the birth of Jesus, that a company of astronomers came up 
from the east country, under the impression of the holy 
spirit, and by the movement of a new star; they came to 
the house where the holy babe lay; and with confidence in- 
quired, ^< Where is he that is born king of the Jews?" Con« 
ceal him not, we have seen his star, and j^re come to wor- 



ship iiiiii! Wise men do worship Jesus, because he is « God 
with us." These things roused the feelings of old Herod, 
who caused a multitude of innocent little boys to be mar- 
tyred! This brings me to the third chapter. 

CHAPTER HI. 

Here goes oh a report respecting John, the Hebrew pro- 
phet, sent before to convince, correct, reform, and prepare 
the way for the Lord, and his new kingdom: which was 
near at hand. 

As John followed baptizing, he was called Baptist. Ma- 
ny disputes have been about John and his baptism, from 
his first cry in the wilderness until now. In fact, he was a 
chosen vessel, set apart from the womb, for a certain pur- 
pose. He lived and died near the close of the legal dispen- 
sation. He proclaimed the new kingdom to be near at hand. 
He was as a link between tlie two dispensations; |nd, in- 
deed, he was a very laudable preface! Yet, as he was not 
an apostle, nor did he live under the new dispensation, nor 
had the Lord yet offered himself to the Jews, neither had 
the divine spirit come accrording to the new kingdom, (for 
the spirit was not to be poured oi^t i until after the divine 
humanity was glorified,) John vii, 39. Thei'efore, chris- 
tians have no more to do with John's baptism, than with 
the Jewish passover. John prophesied of his decrease, as 
the old kingdom closed; and how the Lord and the new 
kingdom would increase. After our Lord commenced the 
public speaker, he raised disciples distinct from John's, and 
they were baptized with a baptism higher than John's, for 
these were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. But 
at Penticost the christian baptism commenced, viz. in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Giost! 
,A'meiu Our Lord's baptism was at a proper age, and at 
a proper place, eyen the river of Judgment, done by a pro- 
per person. This was in order for his consecration, in con- 
forittity to the order of the priesthood; but, although he 
%vas baptised by John, it was not according to John's bap- 
tism <* unto repentance." Moreover, it was the order of 
h^.pf ising, or consecrating the high priests, who were con- 
secrated with water and oil; but only the hands and feet, 
were baptised in the water; then as he came up out of the 
water;? the oil was poured on the head. Now ymi have it! 



7- 



CHAPTER IV. 

This chapter needs only to be read, for it requires very 
iittle explanation; as it treats on the temptations our Lord 
passed through with glorious victory. I shall only make a 
few remarks. 

First. The divine operations of the Holy Ghost led him 
into the wilderness, to be tempted. 

Secondly. Our Lord showed man's noble creation, whose 
soul could feed, grow and thrive— yea, live for ever on the 
word of God! ' 

Thirdly. Satan discovered his unpardonable sin, viz. 
he willed to be worshipped: but when he proposed for the 
Lord to worship him, i call that the impudence of the de- 
vil!!! Yea, and all the miserable, who sink to hell, will 
have to worship the devil ! 

Fourth remark. When Satan brought scripture to back 
his temptation, our Lord produced another text, and Satan 
could not reconcile them. This is like unto the long dis- 
pute between John Calvin, and James Arminius; for one 
text may seem to say, a convert cannot fall entirely away — 
another text speaks as if we may certainly fall aw^ay, and 
perish! Then seeing, no scripture hath any private inter- 
pretation, 1 suppose it impossible to show the scripture texts 
in harmony without throwing in the condition. " He will 
withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly," &c. 
And it came to pass after our Lord had defeated Satan, Je- 
sus returned to Jerusalem at a time people were collected 
for divine service; then our Lord commenced public preach- 
ing; opened the Bible and read his text, viz. Isaiah Ixi. 1, 
&c. Reader, pause a moment. From that time, Jesus 
began to preach" — saying, <* The kingdom of heaven is at 
hand:'' not yet come. How sjiy some, that John begdn the 
new dispensation? 

CHAPTERS V & VL 

Let this portion be read with solemn attention, and let 
the reader examine himself, whether he comes under the 
character of the blessed. 

Nothing is here hard to be understood, as to the letter; and 
as to the experience^ that the Lord onjy can interpret. Let 
the disciple mind^ tliat if his spirit be lit as the candle of the 



3- 



JiOrd, that the light m his imderetanding wili be displayed 
in a holy life, and godly conversation. Moreover, remem- 
ber, that grace comes under the^ lively similitude of salt, 
which is a preservative to flesh, as grace is to the soul, to 
save it from corruption. Had there been ten gracious peo- 
ple in Sodom, the city would have been spared. Salt isthat 
active substance, as some say, which giveth consistence to 
all bodies, by causing them to be preserved from corrup- 
tion; causing the variety of tastes: yet by long exposure to 
wind, sun and weather, salt may lose its savour, i. e. become 
insipid, and of no value. So are all those who make ship- 
wreck of faith and a good conscience! Our glorious Lord 
well understood similitudes. Those who fall away from 
Christ and religion, are disqualified for religious, or civil 
society: so their last state is worse than the first! 

As to the sixth chapter, it is plain and easy to under- 
stand, at least the greater part may be understood without 
an interpreter. The moral law is explained in its primi- 
tive lustre, which shows it to be spiritual, as well as literal; 
so that a sinner may justly be condemned for adultery, and 
murder, although never reduced to action! Reader, I wish 
you to take notice, that self-murder is the most inhuman,, 
and cruel of all murder. To murder parents, wife and chil- 
dren, as some itieh have done, appears the height of savage 
cruelty; but, for a man in cool blood, with his own hand, 
hy throat-cutting, k rope, a hot ball, or to strangle in the 
merciless stream; to torture his own flesh, that he oughty 
in a right way, to love and nourish; is murder, and cruelty 
in the extreme! Hci not only dies like a fool, but he dies in 
the devil — arid awakes, where? From such a death good 
Lord deliver me, and all the human family. Reader, you 
may think yourself in no danger of such an infernal act; 
take heed, watch and pray, forsake sin, nor give place for 
a moment to the devil. 

Reader, you will notice the 25th verse, relative to that 
saying, « Agree with thine adversary quickly," &c. An * 
adversary is an antagonist, or opponent; this adversary 
is not thy God, nor does it in this place refer to Sat^n, 
but it refers to an off*ended brother, or neighbour, as the 
two preceding verses will abundantly show. In the order 
of common law, if, in any case, you have in any wise 
injured a man, but he intends to run the law upon you, 
and not retaliate himself, you being inwardly convinced 



9 



you will be casti then the judge will order the officer to 
cast you into prison. Thus, it would be wisdom in you 
to go speedily and try foi* a reconciliation. By the samq 
rule, if you wrong any person, who will not retaliate^ 
but leave his cause with God; then cast your eyes on the 
first epistle and fourth chapter to the Thessalonians, and 
6th verse, where it is thus recorded, in the divine law: 
Let no man defraud his brother, in any matter; because 
that the Lord is the avenger of all such! Therefore, labour 
to atone, or, by suitable acknowledgements, reconcile thy 
injured neiglibour, before his coniplaint is lodged before 
the great Judge, and you be cast into the hot prison! 

In the close of tlie fifth chapter, we are taught the do(> 
trine of cliristian perfection, which is perfect love to God? 
and good will to all men. In chapter vi, you will read, that 
putting away wives is a hateful thing* and unlawful, except 
for one cause. Yet, if a wife is criielly abused, or in dan- 
ger of her life — no doubt she may depart, so she remain 
virtuous. 

If a divorce may be given in a lawful manner, I should 
think the judiciary department should be applied to, who 
should act according to the laws enacted by the legislative 
body. 

CHAPTER VIL 

In this section we read how hard it appears for a return- 
ing sinner to deny self, resist the devil, become small and 
sufficiently humbled to rush through the jiarrow gate, and 
be translated into the kingdom of righteousness, joy and 
peace. Hear another parable, comparing men to tress, both 
good and bad. But the pure law pronounces all bad; for 
none are good— no not one. Nevertheless, by digging and 
manuring, the bad fig-tree could be made to bear. Luke xiii^ 
Thus, a bad man, by grace can be made good: arid a good 
man may turn back to sin and folly, and become bad again, 
as backsliders do abundantly prove. The interpretation 
may be this, note. A fruit tree holds its seed, or essence in 
itself; see Gen. i, 11. from thence it produces fruit in con- 
formity to its natural seed; whether a horse apple or a 
sweet apple. Therefore, the carnal-minded natural man, 
whose heart is wicked and deceitful, cannot bear good 
fruit before God. But grace can renew this bad man, give 



10 



him a new heart, and renew a right spirit within him; so 
he is horn of God, and. that by the word of God, and the 
word is the seed in the heart of the new creature; he being 
influenced hy the good spirit, how can he bear evil fruit? 
The seed, is the word of God, sown in his heart; and by 
taking root downward, it bears fruit upward. John ob- 
serves, he cannot sin because the seed abideth within. Not 
because a convert is irresistibly kept; he possesseth power 
to do wrong, but has no will to do it. , Joseph asked his base 
mistress how he could act wickedly and sin against God? 
Now if a good man can never change, but remains immu- 
table, and the seed can nev^r depart-— then « once in Christy 
always in Christ," is a true saying. Read John xv. If ye 
abide in me, and my words abide in you,'' &c. kc. « Let 
h'lm that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall!" 

CHAPTERS ^XVin, IX, X. 

: A FE^- remarks may ^uffite. 

First. Oor Lord observed that many pious Gentiles, like 
Cornelius, \^ho were iniluencedx by the great Spirit, which 
is the quickening power, that such people who feared God, 
and worked righteousness, should sit down in the kingdom, 
and the professing Jews and b^i!cksiiding christians, who 
had enjoyed great and glorious privijeges, would be shut 
out. 

When Jesus rebuked the wind, and the sea, and they 
(Obeyed him, the people exclaimed, saying. What manner 
of man is this? Were I to answer the interrogative, I would 
say, Emanuel-— God with us. Note, the parable of the old 
and new bottles, old and Tiew cloth, which bears the follow- 
ing interpretation; the bottles were leather, and when they 
waxed old, new wine in its fermental state, the bottles be- 
ing well stopped, would burst. And strong new cloth edged 
to old rotten cloth, would make the rent worse. The simi- 
litude is this; it will not answer to put new spiritual reli- s 
g;^ion in bid deceitful unrenewed hearts: nor to blend the old 
ievitLcar rites with nejv gospel substances. Some fell frona 
grace in Galia by such corrupt ideas. 

Reader, pay attention to the close of the ninth chapter; 
directions are here given to all sober minded bodies* of 
christian people, who are desirons to hear the word, and 
have but few labourers^ not to joiti error for the sake of 



11 



preachers; but earnestly pray the Lord Jesus to send them 
preachers; and when they come, they will be pure preach- 
ers; by their words and their works you may Jknovv them. 
They will preach the pure word, according to godliness; 
men of holy lives, meek and lowly, men of one book, stea- 
dy to their Master's business. They Will not be hirelings, 
but learn to be content with what their friends will freely 
give t(iem,* as they feel it their duty. Not as lords over 
their Master's vineyard, but public servants for Jesus' sake; 
loving, equal brothers; yet they will be acknowledged as 
overlookers, and ol^csal men in the house of God. Some 
pray to colleges, presbyteries, and conferences to send' 
them preachers, but the best way is to petition the King of 
heaven. The true ministers are called of God, i. e, Christ, 
who is Lord of the harvest. Some are called by men, and 
money; I will not say that Christ never called such at first. 
Let no man be offended, I could say -^more, but a word to 
the wise is enough. The best ministers are those called of 
God, and continue to act under the influence of his spirit. 
The Lord selected twelve ministers, whom he named apos- 
tles, as being called and sent out by his own person; whom 
he appointed to write hss will, at least two thirds of them. 
VTo them he gave the Jcey 4)f the kingdom, or spirit of in- 
spiration, whereby tney could open mysteries, never so 
clearly understood before! They wrote so much and no 
more; and what they have written is recorded in heaven? 
Others were sent to preach, and do the work of an evan- 
gelist, that was to carry the apostles writings, and deposit 
the same among the friends of Jesus; which were ordered 
to be read in. the churches as their only rule book of faith 
and government! Amen, 

CHAPTERS XI, XIL 

The more light we have, and do not improve it, the great- 
er will be our condemnation; even Sodom will rise in Judg- 
ment against gospel sligliters! My dear reader, make no 
further delay, but follow the light, lest eternal darkness, 
should ensue! Pay close attention to the 27th verse, notice 
the oneness, the mysterious and reciprocal union subsisting 
between the humanity and divinity of one Lord God.* In 
verse the 12th, we should pay atterition to the word of the 
Lord in disputing with the Jews about the Sabbath, that 



12 



even under tbe strict letter of the law, the Lor^ justified ail 
merciful acts of kindness to man or beast; and to try to 
prepare food to eat if distressed with hunger. The Lord 
Jesus being the Lord of the Sabbath, it appears then, we 
may reverence the old Sabbath in its time and place, yet 
adopt the Lord's day for the christian Sabbath, which ex- 
actly fits the new dispensation. Alas! alas! how shameful- 
ly do people in Christendom trample upon the' autiiority, 
apd profane the sanctity of the Lord's day! Some are se- 
cretly doing business that otherwise would be to do on Mon- 
day. Others are gathered in parties for feasting and drink- 
ing; and the poor slaves are Jabouring in the cookery. 
Th^ir loose conversation shows their tongues are unbridled, 
and in the multitude of their vain talk, and much laughter^ 
they commit abundance of sin. The common youngsters are 
sporting, play ing, gambling, disputing, wrestling, swearing, 
fighting, &c. well wearied at nigiit, and need res(! Others 
make use of that spare day to set at the grogshops. O! tell it 
not among the East India rude infidels! When the Lord of 
• the SabbathJcometh, he will put a stop to it. Where are civil 
rulers? where are the magistrates? We hear the name, but 
are they a terror to evil doers? Are these God's civil minis- 
ters who bear the sword? O ye Sabbath breakers, despisers 
of the glorious Jesus, doth not your flesh trerable for fear 
of him? Doth your hearts ake when you think of meeting 
bim, on his fiery judgment seat, with, his countenance like 
flashes of lightning? Reform, repent, before it is too late, 
verse 20. A bruised reed is a broken contrite heart; such 
a one the Lord will deal tenderly with, and those warm de- 
sires will be kindled to a flame. 

Our Lbrd spake of the unpardonable sin being against 
the Holy Ghost! In the loose opinions of fallen man, he 
might brought to suppose, if there be three distinct per- 
sons in the one God, that the Holy Ghost must be the great- 
est; but let it be remembered, that the Holy Ghost is God 
in operation. God is a spirit, and there is one Holy Spirit, 
and that the Lord Jesus possessed without measure! 

Note* Through this eternal spirit he offered up the great 
sacrifice to his divinity. Thus, iov a person convinced by 
light in his understanding, yet bitterly to resist the truth, 
which he feels to be pointed against him; he is offended at 
the light, which is truth; his opposition rises to malice in 
the heart, amhition in his will; his carnal enmity, hy giv- 



13 



ing place to the devil, genders into infernal hatred against 
God, his ways and his people! ready to attribute the work 
of God to the devil— dispitefully resists the spirit, and 
cries against his enlightened soul! Such infernal wicked- 
ness can never be forgiven in the law-world, that then ex- 
isted, nor in the gospel- world then to come! Christ died not 
for that sin; neither intercedes for such. A ftian in that 
state is illustrated in the following parable, viz. When the 
unclean spirit, even the spirit of idolatry, with other filthy 
desires, is gone out of a man, he (the spirit) walketh through 
jdry places — that is, Jejune, dreary, barren, no moisture— 
not a drop of consolation-— seeking* rest in vain,* gloomy, 
dismal. I have seen the like of this in a human creature, 
much deranged, and in black despair; when hope is fled, and 
Satan helps on despair, they sink into the nature of Satan; 
they hate God and every thing that's good; and are totally 
emptied of all divine impressions. But to return to talk 
about the unclean spirit, who explores this fallen world, as 
high as the air, as wide as space, as deep as hell, in per- 
petual torments; every where he goes he feels hellfire; al- 
ways full of great wrath. If there be any sort of satisfac- 
tion that such a spirit can feel, it is when he ran be venting 
his infernal malice on man, or even a beast, or ever on 
the lost souls of the human family! In the days of yore, 
demons could toi;ment men'^ bodies, hefore the gospel dis- 
pensation took place. The text reads a^ if the unclean spi- 
rit went out of the man of his own will;^but we may expect 
when light and truth enters, darkness and the spirit that 
works, in the children of disobedience, is obliged to depart, 
and can never return, unless we give place. The unclean 
spirit discovered the situation of the man's soul where he 
in operation once dwelt: he views the house swept of all 
gracious impressions, garnished with vain glory, self- 
righteousness; Christ shut out. and rejected; an open door, 
no watch kept; the unclean spirit knowing that he was too 
weak alone to keep that palace, he collects seven wicked 
spirits, (seven is a perfect number,) these more horribly 
wicked than the unclean spirit; concluding if they all could 
enter, they could so fortify themselves, that such a man 
was sure. They entered without resistance — so the last 
state of such a man was, and is, worse than the first So 
was the miserable state of the Jews, who resisted doctrines 
as clear as light itself; and saw miracles, that God only 

C 



14 



eoiild effect. Some wen supjpose that the unclean spirit 
gatliered tho^e seven spirits, by reason the place was hard 
to take. I thinic when the evil spirit makes his first at- 
tempt, it is not withs word in hand, but temptations, flat- 
tery, lies and deceit: if he is resisted with prayer, he flies. 
The conclusion is, if we give no place to the devil, God 
will never give him power to take us by storm. The simi- 
litude of such an apostate exactly fitted the ambitious Jew- 
ish nation; those wicked spirits keep the Jews still in ha- 
tred and unbelief. Note, Sweeping is outside work^ not 
like washing. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

There ap several remarkable subjects to be observed 
in this chapter. Firs^. The sower and the seed. The good 
seed is the pure word of God, the sowers were Christ him- 
self, and those whom he sent. The seed was kept pure 
during the life of the apostles, and some time after: but the 
pure word has been wofully corrupted since; yet not so 
corrupted but it yet makes converts. The different kinds 
of earth, have an allusion to the different state of mens' 
minds. The enemy sent out false teachers, who sowed cor- 
rupt seed, and produced false professors, who i^pposcd the 
truth. The disciples asked if they might have liberty and 
power to root them up, as the enemies who despised Mo- 
ses' law were pwt to /death; but the Saviour would not al- 
low it. Let all grew together in the field, or the world, 
until judgment; the angels will gather them for the fire. 
The Lord said to his disciples, to you jt is given to under- 
stand the mysteries of t€e kingdom, and the meaning of 
parables, but not to others. Why so? because the former 
became his scholars, and. prayed him to teach them, but 
others would not, S6 it is now. Reader, how is it with 
you? Another parable putlie forth, saying, a woman hid a 
piece of i even in three measures of meal, and it stirred and 
swe^ed till the whdlf was levened. Reader, dost thoit— 
know the meaning ol this? A little grace put into the heart, 
if nourished and improved,^' ill sanctify body, soul and spirit: 
for believers, by faith in the promises, by divine influx par- 
take of the divine nature. And tliat ran increase. Another 
corresponding doctrine, ^e will observe; the treasure bid in 
the field, the wise seeking merchant bought the field, but it 



15 



cost him all he had. The merchandise of divine wisdom is 
better than the merchandise of gold. Reader, if ever you 
gain heavenly wisdom, it will cost you all you have, little 
oy much. I expect you understand it* 

Now learn the parable of a learned scribe; he is a man 
versed in the old levitical law; and being translated into 
the new kingdom, being acquainted with the mysteries of 
bofn Testaments^ he can draw precious tilings out of the 
Old and the New, whereby he is able to feed, edify, and 
build up the church of Christ. Paul was one such, and 
almost none such. The pgirable of the net cast into the sea, 
gMhering in and drawing out manlj^ fishes, both good and 
baid, some preserved, the rest were cast away. This -s like 
gi?eat revivals, V many profess, and become members of 
eiitirches, yet the great deep of the heart being never bro- 
keTn up, they become nominal christians, dwelling in some 
church where they carry religion in one hand, riches attd 
honour in the other; who at the end of the world will be 
cast away! Reader, have you seriously considered these 
sayings? Notice the last verse, how that none are saved 
irresistibly, though the Lord himself should be the mi- 
nister! 

Unbelief is not the only damning sin, as some men as- 
sert; sinners are condemned or damned by the law; and 
unbelief prevents the saving effects of the gospel. 

CHAPTERS XIV, XV. 

Peter, venturing to walk on the water to Jesus, fear« 
-ed when the seas raved. Here observe, there is no safe 
walking but by faith, and as faith faiis we sink; so it 
will be with every poor soul who leaves the body without 
saving faith, he will sink like a stone to its center. Note 
XV. 13, people in churches are planted, as Paul calls it; 
but many are added to. churches that the Lord added not, 
and all who are not, planted by the spirit of truth will be 
■ rooted up! 

In the fifteenth chapter, notice how prevailing persever- 
ing faith and prayer is. The woman of Canaan followed Je- 
sus; would take no denial, and if counted as mean as a dog, 
would not in the least resent it, but prayed the Lord to 
give her the dog's portion, even the crumbs that may fall 
from^he children's table. The answer was reviving, viz. 



16 



O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou 
wilt! Reader^ fullow the example, it is worthy of imitation. 



I SHALL illustrate on four cardinal points. First. T|ie 
nature and danger of false doctrine, compared by the Judge, 
to be of the nature of leven, which may spread through the 
whole church in succession. People in our day think too 
favourable of false doctrine, even such as they themselves 
believe to be false; and ministers are counted rigid and 
uncharitable who warn people to beware of error — or leven. 

Secondly. View the believer's sure foundation, that on 
which the primitive church stood, which is Jesus Christ, as 
Lord and God, revealed to the soul which is translated into 
the gospel kingdom. This foundation stands sure. Those 
who continue in this most holy faith, will abide for ever. 
If Jesus be our sure foundation against the powers of earth 
and hell, then Jesus fnust be the migbty God, the ever- 
lasting Father, and PrinCe of Peace." Jnien, 

Thirdly. How about the keys? A key is an instrument 
to open locks, whereby we gain admission into the cabinet 
df hidden treasure: signifying spiritual knowledge of the 
mysteries of the gospel and the kingdom. Our Lord said, 
when the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all 
tfuth. John xvi. IS. This is the key of knowledge^ (Luke 
xi. 52) that the lawyei-s took away from the people by false 
interpretations; they entered not into the true light them- 
selves, and hindered others. Therefore, what the apostles 
wrote on earth, the same is recorded in Heaven. Nothing 
must be added to, or diminished therefrom; then it must be 
intended by infinite wisdom to be the only and unalterable 
rule for tlie faith and good economy of the christian church 
for ever. Jmen, 

In this chapter we find the strongest evidence of the 
divinity of our Lord God, by the testimony of three re- 
spectable witnesses, viz. Peter, James and John, who 
were chosen apostles. O ye Arians, that brightness which 
appeared, was the same eternal Jesus, the Word or Logos, 
before he assumed a human body ; the same that said, 
Lo, I come, and a body bast those prepared me! Thou 
i. e. the whole of the divine council of God, and the Holy 
Ghost was God in operation. Jesas is, was, and is to come 



CHAPTER XVI, 




17 



the Esse; by reason, be that batb the Son bath life; and 
his words are, •« And ye will not come to me that ye might 
lave life.*' This shekina or emanation, is divine life, and 
divine light, which constitutes the Esse, and Essence, and 
is truly the most high and mighty Lord God! I! Jesus 
dwells' in that increated light, n«it accessible! The witness- 
es knew Moses and Elias; perhaps Moses died fifteen hun- 
dred years before our evident es were born; Elias was not 
known to them before. Reader, if tliou art on thy way to 
Heaven, believe to thy comfort, thou wilt be no stranger 
there. 

CHAPTER XVHL 

A CERTATW man asked our Lord who was the greatest 
in his kingdom; the way he answered was by calling a lit- 
tle child and placing liim in the midst, and informing the 
people that unless tl»ey experienced converting grace and 
became translated into the kingdom, to which tbat child 
belonged, they could not be saved! If children belong to 
the kingdom, who can with propriety forbid their being 
baptised with water? Children do never come under con- 
demnation until they are capable of chosing. and then do ' 
wrong presumptuously. Adam's guilt cannot cleave to 
the souls of his offspring, and his own soul be exone- 
rated. When his soul sinneo, the soul of all souls sin- 
ned; and this is i-ecoi-ded to be the sin of the world. And 
so it was; and when Adam repented, we all repented; 
by reason his whole soul repented: so, also, and when his 
soul believed, did ours; all souls believed. So John the 
baptist exclaimed, saying, behold the Lamb of Grod, who 
taketh away the sin of the world! In this chapter we find 
a rule of discipline delivered by the Lord himself, viz. If 
thy brother trespass against thee, &c. finally, if the two first 
rules fail, tell the church, or that sister church, where thee 
and thy brother are in particular membership. Remember^ 
it is the church, or that cburch collectively; and if the 
church shall judge him guilty, and he will not take convic- 
tion, let him be expelled. Then follows the doctrine of for- 
giveness; whenever thy brother repents, forgive him from 
your heart. Then follows a parable, the pure interpreta- 
tion thereof lies deep. The debtor perhaps was debtor to 
hia landlord; the de^t is heavy, the law was rigorousj for 



18 



if the debtor had no money, he, his wife, Iiis children, and 
all he had must be sold. The debtor owned the account to 
be just; and he humbled himself and prayed, and it moved 
the lord to pity him; therefore he loosed him, and forgave 
him the whole debt. But for his unmerciful conduct toward 
*h\s poor debtor, his lord called him to his bar, the second 
time, ordered him to be put injo prison, and charged him 
with the old and new account! From this parable we learn 
that a believer's first justification is not irrevocable; but its 
continuation appears conditional. Men are lost for unmer- 
ciful conduct, as well as acts of injustice. The same mea- 
sure we meet, shall be measured to us again. 

CHAPTER XIX. 

There appears to be nothing here very hard to under- 
stand, so as to need the interpreter. There is a mystery 
in that of a man and wife being vne flesh; this is a mysti- 
cal oneness: but in their children they are in fact one flesh. 
Why then are people so hard to believe that Jesus Christ, 
possessed two natures in one person? Let him that readeth 
understand. In verse 18, our Lord enjoins obedience to the 
sacred decalogue, written by the finger of God, and handed 
to the people by his servant Moses. Some hold to the 
Jewish Sabbath on the authority of the holy decalogue; 
|>ut the christians hold the Lord's day for their Sabbath, 
being the first day of the week, in commemoration of our 
Lord's resurrection, and the great work of redemption; 
kiirnving that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. Our Lord re- 
ceives sinners, by faith and repentance; but he receives 
little children without such preparation. And as he re- 
ceives such, should not his ministers receive and baptise 
them in his name, to whom they belong? We farther learn 
lM?re, that no sinner can ever inherit a place in heaven un- 
less he will sacrifice every earthly kind of pleasure, honour, 
ease and earthly treasure, i. e. comparatively. 

Notice our Lord's answer to the man who addressed him 
with the honourable title of " Good Master." The answer 
was, why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, 
that is God. It is a very general and correct impression, that 
God is one, for two superlatives cannot exist.— God is over 
ail, blessed for ever. He is the Lord thy God, worship thou 
¥iml The Deity can be but one, i. e. Deus, one. This most 



19 



high God is altogether virtuous; divinely, morally, infi- 
nitely, and absolutely good, in the superlative; in and of 
himself, in his own eternal, immutable, divine and perfect 
attributes!! No God but one, is undeniable, and consequently 
none can be originally, in the absolute independent sense, 
perfectly gobd, but the one God! Then according to the theo- 
logy of some men,' Christ i^considered the Son, in the ab- 
stract, and not the most liigh one God; ^l^refore, accord- 
ing to such an idea, Jesus is no God; and could not be 
considered as the object of worship and ado^^tion, trust or 
soul dependance! He could be no more than a good crea- 
ture and a great prophet; but not good as God is good. 

Reader, if you are under the influence of the Arian faith, 
you may look to it! You contradict the written word, and 
seem to produce an idea that Jesus Was a deceiver! The 
word recorded by John, says, that all men should honour 
the Son, even as they honour the Father. And he himself 
exclaimed, that the Father and he were one— even the one 
God incarnate; the one God manifest in the flesh. I, Jesi^, 
who speak, am in the Father, and the Father in me! i, e. Jfe- 
ciprocally* In his state of humiliation, he humbled Ina^elf, 
and personally acted as a servant, for the redempt^n of 
sinners. His person was despised, though he was Lord of 
all: but his God-head honoured. Thus the divinity was in a 
higher state of exaltation than the person of Jesus. Some- 
times he would answer people according to their folly, and 
their thoughts. The man who called him " Good Master,'* 
looked upon him as only man; and he answered him ac- 
cordingly. But now his humanity is glorified equal with 
the divinity. 

CHAPTERS XX, XXL 

The parable respecting the labourers in the vineyard, is 
just calculated to teach us, that if the Lord rewards his 
holy servants, it will be the reward of grace, and not of 
debt. There appears to be no meritorious exalted seats in 
heaven; the saints will be equal to the angels, and who 
W'ould desire more? In the 20th chapter, we have ^n ac- 
count of the spirit of episcopacy, making an early attempt. 
Two ministers desired the Lord to grant unto them supre- 
macy, or the highest seats of power and honour in the Mes- 
siah's church, or kingdom. Hear th© answer, saying:. 



20 



you know not what you ask." Can you be next to me in 
nay kingdom? Can you drink of my xup, and receive my 
baptism? They answered in the positive. He granted their 
petition, according to his wisdom, whereby they were an- 
swered according to their folly, viz. that they should drink of 
the cup of his sore affliction, and have the honour of his bloo- 
dy baptism! but there should be.no lordly prelates in the gos- 
pel kingdom: and unlsss there be some private interpreta- 
tion in our Lord's word, the order of ministers above a 
presbyter, is from the corruption of the assuming human 
heart, and is repugnant to the divine orders of Jesus 
Christ, saying, it shall not be so among you." It appears 
the holy inspired apostles left the care and charge of the 
churches with the elders, with orders for them not to 
think of acting as lords over the people of God, also 
charged the people at large to take heed how they heard; 
but, to prove, and hold fast only what they found to 
be good. In verse 44, Christ is held under the similitude 
of a rock; on which some stumbled, and were broken; 
but on whom that rock falls, it will grind him! Those who 
stumble at the word through unbelief, they are suflferers 
thereby — but when the executive vengeance falls on a na- 
tion, or on an individual, it is the heavy vengeance of al- 
mighty God, falling on the obstinate unbelievers! From 
such a storm, good Lord deliver us! Dear reader, pause! 

CHAPTER XXIL 

Here we have an account of a supper, a call, and the 
need of a wedding garment. The supper is the saving, 
nourishing, living substance of the precious gospel. The 
call is the merciful invitation to come to Christ for life. 

But it appears, there must be a preparation previous to 
the participation; and not only an external reform, but a 
preparation of the heart. 

What this wedding garment is, becomes a subject of se- 
rious consideration. This dress is given under the simili- 
tude of white raiment, Rev. iii. 18; and in Rev. xix. 8, this 
dress is compared to line linen, even the righteousness of the 
saiats. A saint signifies one who is sanctified in Christ 
Jesus. Isaiah (Hi. i. and Ixi. 10) calls this garment the gar- 
ment of sal vation, or the beautiful garment, i. holiness. 
The way to state it, is to call it the righteousness of saints. 



21 



As saint signifies one sanctified, and those who are sancti- 
fied are justified; therefore it appears to be justification by 
faith, and sanctification through faith in the promises, 
whereby the soul, by a divine influx, partakes of the divine 
nature in a measure; and so far they are sanctified, and feel 
peace with God. Some of the former expositors have intro- 
duced the way of righteousness, which if correct, I am ut- 
terly in the dark respecting this robe. It is published, that 
this robe is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that is to 
say, his active and passive obedience being imputed to the 
believers. To this doctrine I have four principal objections. 
First. This robe could not be defiled; see Rev. iii.4. " Who 
have not defiled their garments," &c. and our Lord's righ- 
teousness cannot be defiled. Secondly. The righteousness 
of Christ is divine, and cannot be improved; and it is writ- 
ten, that those who are admitted into glory have washed 
their robes , and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
Rev. vii. 14. Thirdly. Should I accede to the doctrine of 
this imputed righteousness, I must be an Arian in princi- 
ple, believing that Jesus and the Father are not one, but 
tw6; and that the great God imputes the righteousness of 
the Son, as the subordinate being, to the creature man. 
Whereas the Son saith, the Father and 1 are one. Fourth- 
ly. The divine Saviour thought it not robbery to be equal 
with God. Phil. ii. 6, Therefore, there must be two Gods 
of equal dignity, and then there would be no Supreme. If 
the righteousness of Christ be equal to the Father, he who 
claims such a righteousness must be as righteous as God, 
by imputation; which is blasphemy. If one divine attri- 
bute were imputed to a creature, it would sink him in a 
moment. But if he could live under it, he would stand in 
no need of divine intetcession; nor would his conduct make 
against him, nor for him; nor would the believer be judged 
according to his, but the Saviour's works. It is written, 
*The Lord our righteousness*' Jer. xxiii. But it is written 
in the original, « Jehova justiria nostra,'* i. e. «* Jehovah 
our righteousness." For by and from Jesus Jehovah, we 
receive all the wisdom, grace and righteousness that we 
possess; yet we need continual intercession. David gives 
us light on this subject, where he thus speaketh of God, 
have not hid thy righteousness withim my heaH." Psalm 
xl. 10. I presume that the Baptist church holds the doc- 
trine of Christ's righteousness imputed to helieversi and 



22 



their sins were imputed to him. They lay a great stress 
on believer's baptism by immersioa, as an indispensible 
duty, and as a preparative to the Lord's table, after obtaining 
the divine favour. Let a man examine himself, and so eat. 
Paul. What, examine himself whether he be in the faith, 
or if he ever was immersed underwater! Judge ye. Water 
baptism cannot be the wedding garment. This is saying too 
much about common water. He who is unworthy of a seat 
at the Lord's table on earth, were he to offer to tiike a seat 
in the high cbu^:'ch above would soon be ousted. Yet they 
encourage those whom we refuse to feed, by assuring them 
that if once justified, that justification is irrevocable. 
Moreover, if believers have Christ's righteousness imputed 
to (hem, so is his haptism. Notice what he said to John 
the Baptist, SiS before observed. Towards the close of the 
22nd cj apter, there stands important points of ^octrine, 
even the grand essentials of the christian religion, viz. the" 
pure theology, that the Lord calls the foremost of all his 
commands; which is the law of faith, the pure faith, a foui^* 
dation for the additional improvement of christian virtues;, 
and therefore, it need be a very pure faith: and thus it 
stands on record, viz. the Lord thy God is one Lord. Deut. 
yi. 4. Mark xii. 29. Therefore, the divinity and humanity 
Constitutes one adorable Lord God. God and his Christ are 
one, like the soul and body of a man. And this one Lord 
must^be loved supremely, with the whole heart, soul and 
strength. But if you divide the Father and Son, yon can- 
not love both with the whole heart; then your heart must 
be divided. But when you firmly believe the divinity in 
the humanity, and the humanity in the divinity, then 
may you love the Lord thy God with an undivided heart 
As to thy fellow-creature, do by him ay you would have 
him to treat you: this doctrine is constitutional. But 
Ivhere is the Holy ©host called the third person in the 
trinity? That Holy Spirit is the Lord in operation. These 
are the three grand essentials of the one Lord God. Jesus 
calls himself the root and offspring of David. The God of 
David and the son of David! 

qHAPTERS XXm, XXIV; 

These sections contain the prophesies respecting th© 
mm of poor Jerusalem, after their days of grace were past. 



2S 

The divine Judge had to announce the sentence which the 
divine law awards against rebels, gospel slighters, and 
murderers: — this the blessed Redeemer did with tears. 
The fall of the Jews, and the end of the world, appear 
greatly to correspond. The Son coming in awful clouds 
of wrath — stars^ or leading men, falling — lights, as wan- 
dering stars, sinking into darkness; these were emblems 
of the last day. Many impostors did Satan send out in 
those days, if possible^ to deceive the very elect. Read 
Josephus upon that dreadful day. As it was, so it is; he 
that endures faithful to the end, was, and will be saved. 
Many who professed the christian name, through feaTf 
like Peter, denied the christian name when life was at 
stake; which was denying of Christ. Paul caused the 
saints to blaspheme. Acts xvi. 11. The History of Mar- 
tyrs says, when one of Christ's disciples were broughtiout ^ 
of prison to the stake or gibbet, they were examined for the 
last time, and the last interrogation was, «<art thou a 
christian?" If he answered in the affirmative, death was his 
portion. Our Lord observed, that those who denied hita 
before men, them would he deny before angels; for whoever 
thus sought to save life, should loose it for ever. It was a 
bold step to be baptised in Christ's name, wherein they put 
on Christ, or the christian name. Hear Paul's saying, 
« let us hold fast our profession.'*"^ Heb. iv. 14. Those 
faithful souls in the siege of the city who owned Christ as 
Lord God, denied not his name in the most violent perse- 
cutions. At a certain providential opportunity, they made 
their escape, askhe Lord had fiiretold them to do. When 
the Romans took possession, Josephus says, that not one 
christian was found there; all had escaped in a hasty flight 
to the mountains, &c; This was called the coming of the 
Son of Man. This was the coming of Christ that the apos- 
tle John lived to observe. 

m ' CHAPTER XXV. 

fit - 

Here we have the parable of the church of God compar- 
ed to a company of virgins, pure from idolatry: some acted 
wisely, but others did not. This corresponds with the prece- 
ding chapter. Those virgins, or saints, were and are espous- 
ed to Christ, waiting for the full consummation. They ^ook 
their lamps and moved on^ and Waited for the call. Those 



24 



who acted wiselj^, took oil with them beside what was 
burning, least the burning oil should be exhausted. This 
is going often to the throne, to beg grace to help in time 
of need; laying up in store; giving diligence to make their 
election sure. Not acting as fools, but as wise; redeem- 
ing time, in perilous days. But the foolish depended on 
their first stock to be sufficient; once in grace, always in 
grace. The perseverance of the saii^ts, as some say, is 
sure. The wise slumbered, but some slept. I observe, the 
wise and prudent had no righteousness to spare. Read 
Rom. xi. The old kingdom fell, and the Gentiles were 
grafted, in the new union, into the old Abrahamic cove- 
nant: and Paul warns the Gentile converts not to be high 
minded, but fear Some authors say, the foolish virgins 
had lamps, but they never were lit; if so, we can prove 
they never went out. David'gives some scripture light on 
the spiritual sense and use of a lamp, viz. «' Thy word is a 
lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm cxix. 
105. But David's wise ^on, Solomon, gives us a full ex- 
planation of the similitude, saying, "The commandment is 
a lamp; and the law is light." Prov. vi. 23. The true in- 
terpretation is this: the command of G«»d points out to the 
church every part of her duty toward God and man, in her 
economy, discipline and government; as the Lord ordered 
his apostles^ after planting churches, to teach them all 
things whatsoever he had commanded them. Last chap. 
The spirit in the word is the light. The law of the spirit 
of life in Christ, frees the believer from the law of sin, and 
the just sentence of the law of death. Rom. viii. The 
letter and spirit comprehends it. To have the form of re- 
ligion only, is to be ignorant of the law and gospel. The 
entrance of the word giveth light. David. The word of 
the gospel is spirit and life, saith the Lord. To walk in 
the true light by faith, is to walk with God. The spirit 
giveth life: the spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord. 
Frov. XX. 27. When the spirit of man is illuminated with 
the spirit of the word, it discovers to him the secret %ick- , 
edness of his heart; and when the soul is translated, the 

/ glorious light of the gospel shines unto him, giving rest. 
The pure church lives in the spirit, walks in the gospel 
commands, and hath nothing to do with bishops' laws, as 

^ having no light nor life in them. Therefore, thus saith the 
Lord, watch ye, therefore, for ye«kaow not when the alarm 



25 



Cometh? Whoever is kind to one of his people, the Lord 
takes it as done to himself. A cup of cold water given to 
one of his people in distress, shall be rewarded here or 
hereafter. 

Reader, have you considered all these things? and, 
above all, remember those who enter heaven are a pre-^ 
pared people for that place, holy, pure in heart, and hea- 
venly minded. 

CHAPTER XXYI. 

Note here, the Jewish passover was in full authority dur- 
ing the Redeemer's public ministry, subvStantiated by the 
best authority. Then how say some of you, that John the 
baptist lived under the gospel dispensation? A capital mis- 
take! The Lord's supper supeseded the passover, as bap- 
tism suj^erseded circumcision: for Jesus came by blood and 
water. It appears here, that the Lord's supper was receiv- 
ed while sitting at the table. The 28th verse fuliy substan- 
tiates the glorious doctrine of atonement. Let Mr. Stone 
write on, and deny our Lord's penal sufferings, with his 
Greek phrase at-one, instead of atone; and what hath he 
gained by that, only thai God and man are at one— or re- 
conciled through the blood of his cross. Thus saith the 
Lord, This is my blood of the New Testament, shed for the 
remission of sins. What is sin but the transgression of the 
law? and what could remove that guilt but Christ's aton- 
ing blood? Thus it is, that blood and water are the two 
significant seals; for tiiis signifies the fountain opened in 
the house o^ David, for sin and uncleanness. Zech. xiii. 1* 
These figures are and were necessary, but not to be consi- 
dered as substances. As the Jews boasted in circumcision, 
and despised others; so the baptists glory in baptism by im- 
mersion, and reject all others. The Hebrews and Egyptians 
could converse together, labour together; yet an Egyptian 
thought it an abomination to eat with a Hebrew. 

The gospel? wrote by Matthew, ends with the sulferings, 
death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the de- 
scent of the Holy Ghost. The glorious Emanuel, the Lord 
from heaven, the quickening Spirit, assumed human nature, 
in order to suffer for lost sinners. The whole of his travels 
in this unfriendly world, shows that he was a man of 
soirowi and acquainted with grief. When the cloud drew 



26 

near 9 he was in the place called the garden; seeing our fall 
was in the garden; here the eternal Word being made 
flesh, entered the miserable conflict against all the powers 
of death and hell, men and devils, in a violent confluence, 
or united conflux; besides the bitter cup of unmixed wrath 
presented to his choice. Here his love was tried to the ut- 
termost. God's dear humanity, i. e. the Lord's Christy 
must drink this cup, or the earth must be smitten with a 
curse. The day of vengeance was come; the awakened 
sword was drawn. See Psalm Ixxv. 8. Zechariah xiii. 7. 

Awake, sword." Isai. li. 17. The cup of trembling ap- 
peared; he entered into an agony, excessive, exquisite, un* 
named distress, so that it forced great drops of blood and 
sweat through the sacred pores of his body. Reader, must 
it not be a desperate heart that can feel no warm meltings 
of love and gratitude to the Redeemer? O, that doleful 
night, and until nine in the morning, he bore the insults, 
and corporal punishment inflicted by cruel men, under in- 
fernal influence! And the third hour, which was nine in the 
morning, he was stretched and nailed to the cross, between 
heaven and earth, as though unfit for either! suffering, the 
just one for the unjust human family. The Holy One be- 
came a sin-offering to redeem a lost world! Jehovah had 
no need of such a bleeding, suffering victim to appease his 
wrath, but to reconcile his just law; nor did his holy law 
k need it, for it was well able to execute vengeance on daring 

rebels, and be glorious in his proceedings: but then no soul 
could have been saved; and here divine love and mercy ih« 
terpdsed. Judgment and justice are the foundation of Jeho- 
vah's throne; but on account of this great sacrifice, mercy 
and truth goes before, and proposes conditions of peace to 
rebels; yea, loudly exclaims, and intreats sinners to sub- 
mit. Gpd, in his divine order and government, could never 
countenance rebels, without contradicting himself; which 
thing is impossible. He will never pardon rebels without 
discovering his abhorrence to the audacious and filthy 
works of the flesh and devil. His.glorious dignity will 
not admit of the display of his love and mercy without as« 
serting the prerogatives of his divine holiness. God de- 
lights in his own divine perfections, and therefore must 
delight in order; for out of order he cannot act. Thus the 
divine humanity must bleed, suffer and die, or no soul 
could ever be pardoned, fie hung on the tree in exquisite 



27 



torture until the sixth hour, even noon-day. The Jem^ 
the Romans, the d^vil, death and hell exerting their fprcesy 
tr^^ing to cause him to faint before the work was finished. 
Besides all this, the Redeemer must drink in divine law- 
ifrath, for he bore our sins, or the miseries due to them, in 
his own body on the tree. Behold and see, was ever paiij 
like his. He cried, " I thirst." No friend to give him 
drink ^ but an enemy gave him a mixture of vinegar and 
gall. A total ec| ipse took place; the earth trembled to her 
centre; rocks split into innumerable pieces; graves bursted, 
and many saints arose: and as it is appointed for man once 
to die, I expect they died no more. Reader, for a moment 
think, vrhat must a sinner feel who dies without an interest 
in Christ! About the ninth hour,*or three o'clock, Jesus 
crif d, bowed bis blessed bloody head, saying, it is vinish- 
Ed! and gave up the ghost. The eternal principle of divine 
life, which was the soul of Jesus, withdrew for a season]; 
yet the body was God's holy body, which could not see cor- 
ruption. The Jewish rites were nailed to the cross, then bu- 
ried for ever. The third day he arose; after ia^'iiig in the 
tomb thirty-six hnurs, he took up his eternal life again, and 
dieth no more. This resurrection effects the believer's jus- 
tification. Men and devils strove hard to prevent his resur- 
rection, and to prevent its being believed* He tarried with 
his disciples and ministers f(irty days, teaching them how 
to proceed, and speaking comfortable words to them; teU« 
ing the apostles, that after the New Kingdom came do^n^ 
and they were inspired, to go out among the Gentiles, ga- 
ther disciples from all nations, plant them in churches, bap- 
tising them with a new ceremony, never heard of before, 
viz. Baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost, Then his orders were, to teach the churches 
to observe all things whatsoever he should command by the 
Spirit to them; whatever he whispered in the ear, to pro- 
claim it on the house top. He blessed them, and ascended 
to glory; then in ten days sent down the promised king- 
dom, and the down-pouring of his Spirit: but you will have 
more of this in its right place. Friendly reader, I have fol- 
lowed MattheW, and you have traced me; what think ye? 
I wish you to observe two points more, and so its ends* 
First, If ministers will teach the churches his commands 
only, he will attend th^ ministry to the end of the world. 
Does this prOT^ the Bed^iner to be God as well as man J 



28 



May the Lord pardon my mistakes, and prepare me for 
what may follow. Amen. 



A FEW OBSERVATIONS 

^ ON THE WRITINGS OF THE EVANGELIST 

MARK. 

have passed through the sacred writings of the holy 
apostle Matthew; and Mark bears witness to the very same 
in substance. The apostles were not always eye witnesses 
together of the same things that happened; but all spake by 
the same spir*it. Reader, cast thine eye upon the ninth 
chapter and 37th verse, and own that christian people's 
little children should have a visible seal of a gracious co- 
venant by baptism, as well as the children of the. Jews by 
circumcision, That ihey should be received in some man- 
ner, who will deny? The way I proceed, in the fear of 
God, is, when the parent with ^ babe requests the gospel 
baptism to he administered on their little child, after an 
admonition, 1 receive the child, and baptise it with water* 
This puts the name Christian on; and as every child born 
in Christendom is born a nominal christian, why not seal 
them? Children vthose given names are not coiifirmed in 
baptism are not bound to keep that name. To receive little 
children, is receiving Christ; and what shall we say to 
those who reject and forbid them? They are his. 



VWWV vw 



LUKE. 

LUKE p^J4i^he4- his tlls^^ and assures the read- 

er, that they ail believed the same things: he rehearses the 
history of John the baptist; the nativity of Christ, which 
the civil world calls Christmas, or birth of the Redeemer — 
a time which a majority keep in abominable idolatries! 
Shame — shame— shame! 



• 



29 

In the 3d chapter and 16th verse, John ohserves, that 
he was not worthy to stoop down and loose the Saviour's 
shoes. If we are rightly informed, this was performed to a 
high-priest before he stepped into the water to be baptised, 
or consecrated. But here I must beg my reader's attention 
while I return back to the 2d chapter and 46th verse, where 
it is written, •* And the child grew, and waxed strong in 
spirit, filled with wisdom; and Jesus increased in wisdom 
and stature, and in favour with God and man." Here it 
was, that one of the elders of the christian church, whose 
name was Arius, of Alexandria, in the fourth century, took 
shelter against the rebukes of the christian church that he 
had left; he exclaimed that Jesus Christ, though a great 
being, was inferior to the Father, seeing he could wax 
stronger* and grow wiser. He soon gained proselytes; and 
after converting the emperor and civil power, like Maho- 
met he undertook violence. This raised a bloody persecu- 
tion against the church. He grievously vexed the primi- 
tives. Some were banished, and their property confiscatedj 
some were tortured; and others put to death. This doctrine 
was of the devil then, what»^ver it may be now! Dr. Priest- 
ley exclaims, that Jesus was fallible: if so, he was no God. 
The Arian heresy reduced the christian cause and name to 
disgrace; for they were divided in other points of .loctrine, 
in many particulars; but, by denying Christ to b. God, 
they kept up some kind of union for a time. The great 
council of Nice checked Arius, and estahlishtd arioiher 
new theology, to wit. Three distinct persons in the undivi- 
ded Godhead! Yet as they say, the Father is God, Jesus 
is God, the Spirit is God— yet those persons are not three 
Gods — but owe only! We hold no hard disputes with those 
who confess Jesus to be very God. Jesus, as man, was of 
the line of David, which was an elect royal line, made or 
formed of a virgin. . As this precious body was produced 
by the great eternal Spirit, his soul, as from the Sire, must 
be a divine soul, which is the divinity itself. Thus the 
two natures being united in one person reciprocally, the 
two natures did act in vicissitude, alternate, mutually; 
therefore Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, possessed of 
human feelings; which produces an idea in men that our 
Lord had a human soul. But could it be proven that his 
soul was truly a mere human soul, it would prove he wasf 
a mere man, yea, it would overturn the faith of the chriy- 



30 



tim church. As the humanity advanced to the full statpre 
of man, even so did the divinity increase in the Lord until 
lie received the eternal Spirit in full, withrmt measure^ 
which is infinite. For thus it is written, «« Clod is glorified 
In him; God shall glorify him in himself. <* Glorify thy 
Son, that thy ^n may glorify thee." Here the reciprocal 
union between the two natures is fully substantiated; as the 
hoiy and soul of a human creature constitutes the man ex- 
ternal and internal. The soul of Christ was his life, and 
that life was eternal life, which assuredly is the divine 
Esse, or existence of Jehovah, That was the life which he 
laid down, and hath taken up again, and liveth for ever- 
more. Amen. 

The divine child growing in favour wit^ God and man, 
laay be illustrated as foUows: With respect%) man, preyir 
©us to his public ministry, he was much admired for his 
beauty, his virtue, humility, and wisdom, a display of 
which, in the twelfth year of his humanity, astonished the 
great doctors of Jerusalem. Thns the Deity favoured the 
humanity, until the perfect humanity received the fullness 
of the Godhead bodij} ; and thus, being perfect God and 
perfect man, he became a full and complete Saviour. He 
was the great Emanuel. Not a demi-god; but the all-wise 
Crod, our Saviour. He was the divine Emanation, proceed- 
ing from the divine Centre of eternal perfection; but being 
incarnate, God in the flesh, possessing both natures, he was 
prepared to feel trouble, sorrow and distress. 

What is written may suffice, out of the abundance that 
ii[iay be advanced, that Jesus Christ is both Lord and God 
in one exalted person; who at length will show who is the 
blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of 
lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light which 
no man can approach unto; to him be honour^ and power 
everlasting. Amen. 1 Tim. vi. 15. 16. 

Friendly reader, let me intreat thee to weigh this sub- 
ject with all your sense, j^nd pray daily to the Great One 
to illuminate your understanding, that you may believe in 
Christ as Lord God, and have power to trust in hiin as 
3'our all-sufficient, loving Saviour* I testify against all 
those who view Jesus less than God; therefore, if any 
Koan refuse to give him equal honour with the Father, he 
will lightly esteem that man. if not utterly reject him. 
Here is a itumbling-block to Ariansf that they should ho- 



31 



noiir the Son, even as they honour the Fathers which they 
refuse to do. 

God did the Testament enjoin, 

And then he seal'd it with his blood; 
The man who did his life resign. 

Was perfect man, and perfect God. 

But man, vain man, must thus conclude. 

That all is false beyond his skill; 
How low his thoughts, how rash and rude^ 

To contradict the Master's will. 

If Jesus be divided from the Father, so are all believers 
in Christ. The only way that fallen man could ever be in 
union with God, was effected by the divinity and humanity 
becoming one. If Christ be not God, then being grafted 
into Christ availeth nothing. Facts are stubborn things. 
If God and Christ be not the same, how can believers who 
are grafted in the Vine, partake of the root and fatness^ 
Head D. Jarret's first volume. 

From Luke vi. to the end, I discover no great difficulty 
in understanding his writings; he bears witness to those 
\rho wrote before. I advise my reader to pay close atten- 
tion to the 19th chapter and 27th verse. Christ being Kin^^ 
as well as Redeemer, all men are bound to obey him> in 
order, as subjects of his visible kingdom. He hath estab« 
lished his church, or kingdom, in this civilized world; all 
those who, from corrupt principle, refuse to live under his 
written government, are deemed his enemies, and at th© 
last day will be treated as such; saying, « Brin^ those mine - 
enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, and 
slay them before me," O, reader, be reconciled to the 
Lord. See chap, xxii, xxiv, xxv. There note, that episco- 
pacy is expressly lorbiddeK^ therefore^ why wiU urea con- 
tend witti Crod* 



32 
JOHN. 

CHAPTER 1; 

THE gospel by John comes next of course. This holy 
apostle strikes at the deepest mystery in the sacred book, 
saying, in the beginning (of time) was the Word, and the 
Word was with God, eternally, and the Word was God. 
Furthermore, all things were made by him and for him. 
In him (the Word) was divine life and divine light, which 
are the esse and essence of Deity. Read on, all who re- 
ceived him then, as their Lord God, he gave them power 
to become the sons of God. What manner of man is 
this, that can give condemned sinner's, children of wrath 
and hell, power to be adpoted sons of God? Reader, he 
holds that power still on earth; and if you will receive 
Ijim as your teacher, Saviour, Lord and Master, he 
will give you that power. Christ's humanity and his 
divinity was the glorious Emanuel, or God with us. The 
wisdom of this world, with all its philosophical notions, have 
found themselves lost in a crowd of difficulties, from thence 
have drawn false conclusions, antl cannot comprehend 
truth. Reader, 0! reader, if your mind still wavers, I 
would advise you just now implicitly to believe the word, 
and pry no farther into the divine mystery witii#ut a light, 
lest your intellects shoi^ld be impaired, and you may wade 
out of your depth. Think no less of Christ than himself 
hath declared, that the Father and Son were one. What 
God hath joined together, let no man put assunder. 

You may read on now and understand, until you enter the 
Sd chapter, where it insists on the new- birth. Not only 
gross sinners need the new birth, but many a blind teach- 
er, as Nicodenius was. When children arrive to the know- 
ledge of moral good and evil, by a divine light, they are 
tempted by fleshly lusts, inticed and drawn, until the soul is 
prevailed on, and yields, and the soul is condemned; then the 
seed is sown Jtnd soon takes deep root in the heart, from 
whence issues out all wickedness that is committed on earth 
by men. Therefore, all the outward forms and reforma- 
tions in the world, can never change that evil, wicked and 
deceitful heart, and root out the evil seedj but this heaven- 



53 



ly birth can effect it. So let sinners try to understand the 
mystery in a speculative point of view, and strive, hope 
and pray until they understand it by a happy experience. 
Notice the 13th verse, how our divine Saviour was in hea- 
ven and on earth, at the same time! he is now personally 
in heaven, and yet upon earth, moving amidst the churches. 
Yea, he was, and is always in the world; for lo, he filleth 
immensity, and every point of duration. He is the same 
yesterday, to day, and for ever! Jlmen^ 

CHAPTER V. 

There appears no great difficulty in understanding this 
chapter, in its literal sense. Sinners are considered spiri- 
tually dead in sin, being dead by the law, and strangers 
to quickening grace. 

Reader, thou art solicited to look well into the 25th verse. 
Here stands divine orders, that you, as a professor of the 
christian religion, must honour Jesus, equal with the Fa- 
ther. Thus you must suppose two Gods of equal glory, 
and have no supreme; else acknowledge the»divinity and 
humanity to constitute^one incarnate "Lord God!" dmen, 

CHAPTER VI. 

In this blessed section there is a gracious, glorious, and 
interesting mystery, that needs an experienced and a gifted 
interpreter! that is respecting the body and blood of the 
Lord Jesus to be the spiritual meat, drink, and life of the 
soul. Moreover, that this bread came down from heaven? 
He saith in the positive, yea, in the strongest terms, •« my 
flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." A 
question arises, viz. how could his flesh come down from 
heaven, when made of a virgin here on earth? First, This 
was decreed in the eternal mind, as « a lamb slain from 
the foundation of the world." Rev. xiii. 8. The divine 
Word in its divine essence was eternal with God, and was 
God, and is God; for the Father, the Word, and Spirit, 
are three grand essentials of the one adorable Lord God, 
who holds the records in safety. Thus it came to pass, that 
this divine Word descended in emanation from the center 
of the eternal mind, or bosom of Deity, or Divino; but not 
considered in the abstract, no more than the beams of the 



34 



sun are abstracted from the body. The Word was made 
flesh; this is incarnation; the flesh begotten by and became 
of the very same nature: thus the union is reciprocal. Just 
like the seamless coat, there is no division. And thus it 
appears the sou! ingrafted into Christ by faith, partakes 
of the root and fatness; feeding by faith on the virtue of 
Christ's blessed body and blood! Thus it appears that the 
humanity of Christ, is and was a divine humanity^ when a 
soul feeds on the Word, he feeds on Christ. 

CHAPTERS VII, Vlir. 

Let us carefully look into these sacred sections, and 
look up to the Fountain of light for a right understanding. 
Notice the 24th verse, and know that people make capital 
mistakes respecting religion, truth and error, by judging 
according to the appearance of things; but our Lord teach- 
es us to judge righteous judgment, by the law and testi- 
mony. 

In the seventh section we are told that the Holy Spirit 
was not then given in the fulness of the new dispensation, 
by reason that humanity was not then glorified. How say 
some of you that John's baptism was the christian baptism, 
when Christ had wot ascended, and the great spirit was not 
given. 

My reader may see clearly in the eighth chapter, that 
he who lives in the practice of sin, is not only a servant 
of sin, but a child of the devil ! Nevertheless, if a sin- 
ner believes that Jesus is the only and true Saviour, and 
consequently will abide in his word as a learner or disci- 
ple, tlie Lord will surely have mercy on him; by the law 
of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus will free him from the 
law of sin and death, by the saving knowledge of the truth* 
Then why will you die a sinner? 

CHAPTER IX. 

This section abounds with notable miracfes, and among 
the rest, Jesus displayed his almighty creating power irt 
giving sight to one who was born blind! This one btini 
inan became a disciple atid Worshipper of Jesus Christ. 



CHAPTER X. 



First. Jesus compares his faithful followers to a flock 
of sheep; himself their good shepherd. He calls, they fol- 
low; he leads, but neyer drives. He feeds, guards and pro- 
tects all those who obey his voice, and follow his holy foot- 
steps. Such he will feed, who are called, chosen and faith- 
ful. Whoever desires to be one of his sheep and feed in 
his pastures, must come in by the one door. « 1 am the 
door of the sheep," saith the Lord; if any one enters in by 
this door, he will find pasture in ev^ry apartment of duty. 
How say some, that baptism by immersion is the door into 
fellowship, and church communion? It is not so. It is spi- 
ritual baptism that unites believers. Water baptism is but 
an outward sign, or figure of the uniting baptism. Simon 
was baptised, but remained in the gall of bitterness! 

In verse 16 our Lord spake of other sheep he had, who 
were not of the Jews; them he should bring in and make 
one fold. This may allude to what is called the vocation of 
the Gentiles. There were several among the Gentiles who, 
like Cornelius, feared God and wrought righteousness; 
who when the gospel was sent among them gladly came 
in. After the Jews rejected the gospel, the apostle turn- 
ed to the Gentiles, and as many as were thus prepared, 
appointed, or ordained, quickly believed, and embraced the 
gospel. They also were baptised in the name of the Fa- 
ther, Son and Holy Ghost; this baptism made them nomi- 
nal christians. If Christ's flock will obey his voice, and 
follow him, he will protect, defend, feed anc} save them for 
ever. Header, mind the terms, obey his voice and follow 
him, and he will give unto thee eternal life. Jesus said, 
verse 27, 28, If I do not the works of my Father, believe 
me not* 

CHAPTER XL 

In this chapter we have the history of Mary, Martha, 
»nd Lazarus; they were godly poor people, living in a little 
village, where the humble Redeemer often resorted, and 
partook of their plain home fare. Jesus loved Mary, who 
once washed his feet with her tears: he also loved Martha, 
and her brother. Netice a few observations in this chapter., 



36 



First. How the blessed Lord loves his true disciples, let 
them be ever so poor, and visits such now in spirit. Again, 
notice how he was possessed of sympathy, mutually feeling 
the distress of the human creature; for as he saw Mary 
weeping, and the friendly Jews also weeping, Jesus groan- 
ed; yea, Jesus wept! Although the great Jledeemer is now 
in his glory, and cannot feel trouble, he can feel pity and 
divine compassion. Let this excite us to love him, and 
trust in his goodness and power. 

Hear with attention the Redeemer's proclamation, say- 
ing, 1 am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in 
me, though he were dead (in sin) yet shall he live (be 
quickened): and he that liveth a life of holy faith shall ne- 
ver die. Reader, believest t^u this? Notice the contents 
of the proclamatioir, saying, «« I am the resurrection and 
the life.'^ The interpretation is this: 1 am the eternal 
life, that is the esse, or existenc e of Deity; that is my life 
and my divine soul: for I am God, and there is none else, 
as being one with the Father — not two, but one; and I am 
the almighty power which raiseth the dead. The general 
resurrection at the last day, is a solemn and awful certain- 
ty. The rest of this chapter sebms easy to understand. 

CHAPTER Xn. 

There are a few particulars in this sacred chapter that 
calls our attention. Our dear Redeemer rode intothe^reat 
city on a colt, to fulfil the saying of one of his prophets, 
calling on the daughters of Zion to behold their King com- 
ing, meek and lowly, riding upon an ass. O, what amaz-- 
ing condescension, a lesson to humble the pride of his crea- 
tures! His despised followers, in their simple manner, gave 
every mark of honour to their divine Prince, making use 
of the natural beauty of the boughs of trees, with the loud 
acclamations of Hosanna; which word abounds with the 
designation of the highest encomiums. The children, joined 
the loud Hosannas, according to what was long foretold, 
that out of the mouths of babes and sucklin^gs (compara- 
tively) the great Redeemer should receive perfect praise. 
The impulses of his spirit raised such united shouts, that 
the city eclioed and vibrated in return to their exalted 
strains, until the hypocritical men of order, who were not 
able to quell the triumph, called upon the Lord Jesus to 



rebuke his disciples, and teach them order. The Lord said 
unto them, as the divine impulses by which they were in- 
fiuenced were such, that if they were irresistibly silenced^ 
it would so frustrate the grand design, that it might cause 
the very stones in the street and in the walls to cry outf 
that such a phenomena might appear, as would terminate 
in the destruction of the city. 

Reader, you need the interpretation of the 25th verse. 
Thus saith the Lord, he that loveth his life shall lose it; 
and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto 
life eternal. These sayings respecting love and hatred in 
diverse places, are not to be understood according to the 
general idea we take upi-elative to love and hatred; but it 
is to be considered comparatively, like that of a man hating 
his father, mother, wife and children, and God hating Esau, 
an innocent babe; but God prefers one before the other for 
certain purposes, according to foreknowled^: and we must 
love the Lord above all in heaven and earth. Let him that 
readeth try to understand. Thus saith the Lord, walk 
while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you. 

There were several of the ruling men in Jerusalem who 
believed on the blessed Redemer, but through fear of the 
people they would not confess him, nor be baptised in his 
name. Such believers will have their lot with infidels. Sin-» 
ners may stop their ears, and shut their eyes, until they 
appear spiritually dead, deaf and blind. It is a dangerous 
thing to resist the light. Those who chuse darkness, and 
die in that channel, may expect to sink into_the blackness 
of darkness for ever! 

CHAPTER XIIL 

Jesus loved his own, even ta the end, that is, to his 
death. If my reader will inquire, saying, but who are his 
own? the answer is ready, viz. Those who are not of this 
,* / world, but are chosen out of the world, and led by his spi- 
rit; those who follow the Lamb wherever he goeth. 

About this time, one of the apostles, by ttte name of Ju- 
das, gave place to the devil, who entered iflto Mm after re- 
ceiving the sop. Judas had a weak place, which was covet- 
ousness; Satan entered there. If Judas did feel malice in his 
heart, as well as light in his head, I must suppose his sin 
unpardonable; but if he wasintiuenced by the love of moneys 

F 



38 



the sin was not unpardonable. By way of stron,^ supposi- 
tion, we may take up the following idea, which is my im- 
pression: he had seen the myracles wrought by hi^ Lord, 
that his wisdom and power were superior to "air the world; 
and believed that himself w^uld g'^t the money, and the Lord 
would make his escape. This appears like a correct im- 
pression from the writings of Matthew, xxvii. S. When 
Judas saw that his Lord was condemned, he repented. 

In the 35th verse, we have the sure mark of our Lord's 
true disciples, that is, love to each other. This is most con- 
vincing to men of the world. O, how destructive are divi- 
sions to precious souls, and how it weakens our spiritual 
armies and cools our brotherly love. This seems to be the 
general lamentation among all spiritual christians; but who 
can show the original cause? and how the evil may be re- 
moved? Perhaps we read of near, if not quite, two hundred; 
separate and distinct hodies of people professing the 'chris- 
tian religion, all exclaiming, lo; here is Christ! If one mi- 
nister attempts to show what he judges to be errors in such 
a church, even should his judgment be correct, he is count- 
ed an enemy to that people for telling it. Here we are 
chained and fettered by each other. People in general seem 
to dislike that any preacher, however moderate, should 
speak in any way against what they consider corrupt doc- 
trine or discipline. Just like a law that once existed in pa- 
gan Rome, that no one should speak against the idols of 
another. All cry out, peace, peace; where there is no peace. 
Paul was accounted an enemy for opposing the false doc- 
trine in Gailacia: but he observfid. ^liat they should do no- 
thing against, but for the truth. If the good Spirit should 
whisper in the ear must ir not be proclaimed on the house 
top? Let the people grant that liberty to watchmen. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Let us carefully, in the fear of God, look over this sec- 
tion. The first part that calls our attention, are comfort- 
able words from the great Redeemer, concerning the maj^^ 
8ions of glory p^Tepared in heaven for all the Lord's friendk. 
The direct way to those bright celestial mansions, is the 
Lord Jesus: by trusting in hiui at all times; by obeying the 
word, and walking in his footsteps^ this is the direct way 
to heaven. 



39 



Philip besouglit the Lord to show them the Father, and 
that would satisfy them., Pay attention to the answer. 

Have I been so long With you, and yet hast thou not 
known me?" Philip thought he knew Jesus, and believed 
him to be the Son of the Father; but it was the Father Phi- 
lip desired to see. Thus saith the Lord, in plain words. He 
that hath seen me, hath seen the Father; for I am in the 
Father, and the Father is in me. 

Notice the 17th verse. The spirit of Jesus was always 
in the world, in light and operation; but under the gospel 
dispensation the spirit is in the saint. The spirit of Jesus 
in the soul, shows us plainly of the Father, when his divine 
love in Christ is shed abroad upon the heart; for God is 
love in his divine nature; and this is the love of Christ, and 
the love of God in Christ Jesus. 

In the 26th verse, the Comforter issuing from the divi- 
nity of Christ? comes in the name of Jesus. Reader, I ex- 
pect you consider things respecting the Lord God, as the 
reformed churches do; that is^ you confess and adore three 
distinct persons in the Godhead, and that each person 13 
truly very God; yet they are not to be considered as three 
Gods (although you, thus speak), but one God. I praise you 
for honouring the Son, even as yo^ honour the Father; but 
how would you support your theology against an argumen- 
tal deist, who might advance the following interrogatives, 
viz. If you call God the Father a person, the Son being i»i 
the Father, he must be included in the first person. Then 
to hold up the Son distinct as the second person, you must 
draw him from the first person, and this must mutilate the 
first glorious person! And holding up the Holy Ghost as 
the third divine person in the abstract, you rob the Son, 
who has received the Buly Ghost without measure. And 
moreover, the most high God is a spirit, and there being 
but one Holy Ghost, and that is the adorable Father, and 
the adorable Son possesses the fullness of the Godhead bo- 
dily; it appears that the pure light must be found in the 
following interpretation, viz. The word trinity is not found 
in the scripture, but we read of three that bear record, and 
we need some word to convey our meaning, as we use ma- 
ny proper words not found in holy writ. Then to prevent 
the inaccurate manner of confounding one thing with an- 
other, perhaps the truth lies here, The glorified person, 
.lesus Christ; is the everlasting Father, and the Prince of 



40 



Peace; tlierefore, the glorious three divine essentials that 
we call Trinity, reside in the one divine person Jesus 
Clirist. " Great is the mystery/* &c. 

Our Redeemer hears three significant appellations to the 
one divine person, viz. Christ, the divine light; Jesus, the 
divine life; for he that hath the Son, whose name is Jesus, 
iiath life; he is the Lord God, that is divine love; John xv. 
9. Continue ye in my love. Thus it appears, that light, life 
and love count three, but not to be separated. Say Father, 
Word and Spirit are one God. Rain, hail and snow are 
one water. 

CHAPTER Xy. 

The contents of this chapter may be illustrated under 
the similitude of a vine, the invisible Toot, and the branch- 
es, which the root nourishes through the vine. 

As touching the parable, note. The invisible root issues 
forth a tender sprout: it advances to a branch, and progres- 
ses to a substantial vine, forr.iing an ample shade. One ex- 
claims, saying, «« I sat down under his shadow, with great 
delight." The interpretation appears to be thus: This root 
is the Gteri^al Father; the vine that proceeded and came 
forth from the root, represents Jesus the Son, as produced 
by him; and the outside covering may represent the visible 
human substance. Observe^ that vine was eternally in God 
the rof)t, and therefore was God, and should never be con- 
sidered in the abstract. John viii. 42. 

Thus it was, and so it is; the vine was in the root, and 
the root was and is in the vine; and so it will be for ever. 
Apcn. 

^Again, when a believer, one who believes with the heart 
, uinto righteousness, receives a measure of the Holy Spirit, 
yea, partakes of the divine nature, his spirit is grafted in 
the vine, and of course partakes of the root and fatness^, 
and bears the fruit of the Spirit. 

For a further illustration of this blessed subject, let it be* 
observed, that those believers who improve what God gives, 
are changed more into the divine likeness, whereby tlie^y 
are purged and more refined to bear much fruit: but tnose 
who, by negligence, are led away by the errors of ^people 
who are accounted men of taste and fashioj), they fall from 
tlieir first love^ this may be done gradually, almost ineen- 



41 

sibly, by reason that the spiritual communication seems to 
cease; although they hold on their form and name to live, 
yea they pray daily, yet receive no answer by refreshings 
from divine presence, so they cease to bear the fruit of love, 
joy and true peace; the divinity removes them from his pre- 
cious ones, who are led by the sp^^rit. Such may abide in 
/ the visible body of christians to the last day, as the foolish 
virgins did, who, by losing the life of religion, the light 
must decline with the life; then at the trying hour of death 
or judgment, their faith will fail, the last spark of hope 
will perish, and those dry branches be cast into the fire. 

Let us hear the conclusion of this mysterious chapter^ 
The way to abide in Christ is to live by faith, in a line of 
holy obedience, whereby your faith is justified before God 
and men. Let the divine word dwell richly in you; so will 
you abide in his love: his joy will remain in you, and your 
joy will be full. The following axioms call our attention^ 
First. If Christ be divided from the Father, so are all his 
members. Secondly. The only way that fallen men could 
ever be in union with their Maker, was effected by divinity 
and humanity becoming one. Thirdly. If Christ be not 
God, how do believers in the vine partake of the root and 
fatness? 

CHAPTER XTL 

Here is shown that the Holy Spirit, in that degree as 
was promised to the gospel age, was not then come, but 
^till promised. The Lord told his little family that unless 
he went away, the Holy Spirit would no^ rome; but if I 
depart, « I will send him unto you." He will reprove the 
world of ain, &c. The blessed sjiint glorified Jesus, by 
taking of his, and showing' the same to the people. Should 
any one ask, what are his? The answer is, all that the Fa- 
ther hath, are his, verse 15. Bow are they to be divided 
into two persons, and each person to be considered very 
God? The chapter is not very occult or mysterious, for he 
that runneth may read and understand. The last verse is 
loaded with consolation for the truly pious. In the world 
they will meet with tribulations, hut in the Redeemer, they 
will enjoy peace. 0, what are eartbJy troubles when com- 
pared to heavenly joys? 



42 



CHAPTER XVIL 

To know the Father and the Son, is life eternal. Jesus 
spake with lips of flesh and man-like voice, saying to his 
own divinity, the Father, I (in person) have glorified thee 
on earth, in my state of humiliation; have finished the work 
thou gavest me to do, as is sure to be completed quickly: 
and now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, 
with the gh)ry which I had with thee before the world was. 
If Jesus existed in, and with the Father before the world 
was; he existed before time, which was, and is, and will 
for ever be, eternity. Thus it is written, the Word was 
with God, (before time) and the Word was God, in essence 
and esse. Therefore, Jesus cannot be inferior, only as he 
condescended to act in the capacity of a servant, and became 
thus in the world poor, that through his poverty we might 
be made rich! In consequence of which, he was not popular 
among the great, but by such grace and condescension he 
merited the highest encomiums, viz. that he should be 
highly exalted, and his name be above every namej and 
at that name creation must bow. 

Jesus the highest name that's given. 

Filled with the Deity; 
No other God in earth or heaven, 

To him all glory be! 

To proceed in the-illustration of this divine mystery, the 
author could produce a number of sacred texts, to show that 
the Redeemer is called Jehovah in the Old Testament, and 
Lord in the New Testament. As for our Redeemer, ih& 
Lord of Hosts is his name! Isaiaji xlvii. 4. It was the spirit 
of Jesus that spake by the mouth of the prophets, as Peter 
writes. When Jesus was drawing the business to a close, 
he appears to make no distinction between his mother Ma- 
ry and other holy women: he said unto her, while bleed- 
ing on the cross, ♦« woman, behold thy son." Then address- 
ed his disciples saying, behold thy mother.*' Whosoever 
shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, my sis- 
ter and mother. The morning he arose, he saw Mary 
Magdalene and said, " touch me not, for I am not yet as- 
cended to my Father." There is surely a mysterious sense 
in this expression. Matthew observes how the holy Women 



43 



lield him by the feet, and worshipped him. Those were 
suffered to touch his feet. Perhaps the words are to let us 
understand, that when he ascended to the full glorification 
of the flesh, he put off all that was of Mary the mother, and 
put on all that was of God the Father. Thus the human 
substance became all divine, the same as the immaterial 
spiritual substance. This is substantiated by the person of 
Christ being glorified with all the Father's infinite glory. 
The prayer of the holy Redeemer, loudly calls our atten- 
tion. He first prays that the apostles might be kept pure, 
for the grand purpose of establishing his last will, and 
erecting the christian church. His second request was, for 
all who should believe on him through their word, verse 20. 
Let us labour to believe the apostles, as also to obey, and 
through that intercession, we shall surely be saved. 

CHAPTER XVin. 

This chapter reports the sufferings of the just one, in 
order to save the unjust from the executive wrath of the 
law. No pen can write, no tongue can speak, nov heart 
conceive what the Redeemer endured. Let a christian who 
hath passed from death to life, recollect the misery his soul 
nnderwent, and the burden he bore when wrath was reveal- 
ed from heaven against him, when snares surrounded him, 
and pains like hell took .'sjid on him; then by faith, view 
the fjord on the cros«, bearing the sins of the whole human 
family, not only by revelation, but in the execution; then 
let him realize the human family, which was, is, and is to 
come to the last generation, and all their sins in thought, 
word, deed, and what those crimes against the Most High 
justly deserved; then think of the suffering of the great 
Redeemer, to make our salvation possible. O candid rea- 
der, will you stiH sin on, grieve his spirit and die? Some 
of our learned authors attempt to lighten the burden, or 
load, that 1 suppose the Lord bore; for they assert that he 
suffered only for a few elected ones. Believe it who can, 
I cannot. 

In verse 36, our Lord informs us that his kingdom, or 
church, though in the world, is not of the world; there- 
fore human work, in constituting, or building up his tem- 
ple, is nothing but the perishable stuff, that the pure fire 
will consume: yet the word abideth for ever. ^ ^ 



44 



Here we read of Peter's fall. Let it be observed that Pe* 
ter denied his Master entirely through fear, and pot enmity. 
The dread of the Jews, and the power of the Roman em- 
pire, sent terror to his soul, which extorted a lie, and an 
oath to confirm it. But the Jews did not swear in a com- 
mon way, as the vulgar men swear in Christendom, viz. 
by the great and awful God! Nor did they curse, as our 
miserable men do, who try to sink each other's soul to 
hell. Any binding word to yes, or no, was swearing; and 
any bad wish to themselves or others, was then, and is now, 
deemed cursing. Moreover, this happened before Peter 
was inspired: therefore, he obtained pardon; then when 
converted to the christian faith, knowledge and understand- 
ing, he was able to strengthen his brethren. 

CHAPTER XIX; 

The crown of thorns, intended to mock and punish the 
Lord, yet it was allusive to his crown of glory; and his 
mock priest's robe, had its signature in conformity to his 
priesthood. 

In verse 24, the soldiers cast lots for his upper garment, 
coat or vest; as having no seam, the soldiers agreed not to 
lacerate it, but cast lots. David foretold this very thing; 
see Psalm xxii. 18. *< For my vesture they cast lots." 
This seamless coat had a divine significant meaning; even 
the union subsisting between the divinity and humanity of 
the Redeemer: this is more than conjunction. The collect- 
ed wisdom of Jerusalem asserted* the Son of God must be 
equal to God; and therein they charged our Lord of being 
gailty of blasphemy! But some have and do acknowledge 
Jesus the Son of God, yet hold him inferior to his Father. 
This impression came at first from antichrist, and innocent 
men may embrace the doctrine, for lack of deeper under- 
standing. In Christ was life, even eternal life, which is 
the esse, or eternal existence of Jehovah. That life he 
yielded up on thfe cross; for he had power to lay it down^ 
and take it up again! He is Jehovah, our righteousness.'* 

CHAPTERS XX, XXL 

Note the 20th and 23d verses. Thus the Lord spake to 
the apostles, that who&esoever sins ye remits they are re* 



45 



mitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are 
retained. As the )vriters i)f tl»e gospel, wrote as the spirit 
of Jesus directed, we may jmlge by the Word as touching 
our present state of soul; as to our faith, experience and 
practice. 

In verse 28, we read what Thomas expressed respecting i 
liis faith in Jesus the Son of the Father, <« My Lord, 
and my God." Christ received the encomium. Attend to 
a proper examination for a gospel minister to pass through. 
Lovest thou Jesus more than all your earthly friends? If 
so, show your love to him by your zeah^us regard to his 
church, whether in prosperity or adversity. In the close 
of the apostle John's gospel, we are told that all is not 
written that Jesus said and did; but infinite wisdom gave 
us full enough, and no more; therefore, the gospel contains 
a complete system for the faith, and good economy of the 
christian church. If so, then, every) addition, is human 
corruption, that is not only defective, but presumptive, and 
dangerous to society, both civil and religious. 



ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 

REMARKS ON CERTAIN TEXTS, 

LUKE wrote this narrative, and dedicated it to a cer- 
taia^ignificant iiiipfie, viz. Theophilus, which being inter- 
preted, is w3 FriemU a lover of God. He writes as an eye 
and ear witness of thirtgs said and done by his Master, 
from the first, to his ascension. 

In the 6th verse, the apostle publishes their ignorance 
before Penticost, in hoping that their Lord would restore 
the kingdom or government. to Israel, who were subjected 
to th& Roman pagan empire. JudaS is here numbered 
- with the other apostles. Jesus coniinued with his people 
after his resurrection, just forty days, according to order; 
he then led them a distance, blessed them, and asct-nded 
upward beyond sight! 

Who can conceive what their feelings were at that in* 
stant. They returned, and about one hundred and twenty 
met, and with sweet accord fervently prayed for direction 

G 



46 



and protection. Peter gave a lecture on past prophecy, 
by which he introduced the case of Judas who was guide to 
them that took Jesus. *< He was numbered with us," said 
Peter, «< and obtained part of this ministry." Then relates 
his dreadful end. See John vi. 70. There the word of the 
Lord is recorded thus, Have not I chosen you twelve, and 
one of you is sl devii. That is, not was, in the past tense. 
Judas fell from the ministry by transgression, verse 25, 
that he might go to his own place, i. e. hell, where all apos- 
tate ministers go, who betray their trust by turning aside 
for filthy lucre, drunkenness, pride, &c. but especially when 
one destroys his own life. This was foretold by a prophet^ 
not absolutely decreed, and must be so. Psalm cix. 10. 

Among us men it is said, that Judas was a bishop, mean- 
ing a superior order over elders; seeing it is written, or 
translated, bishopric, which alludes to a certain particular 
province over which he presides. Judas was not thus sta- 
tioned. Now to find the just root of the word bishop, ob- 
serve, we may work by a kind of backward etymology, 
and the root will be found overseer, instead of master or 
lord: the learned say this is the Greek root; let them say. 
The author is indebted to the wise for his bold assertions, 
but will submit it. Yet, for fear my judges on this subject 
should be interested in episcopacy, I will remove my suit 
to the judgment of Paul, who was a learned and inspired 
man, and what he wrote is recorded in the courts above. 
Let Paul be judge, and the author gains his suit. See the 
records, Acts xx. 28. 

Jesus kept time to perfection. He tarried forty days with 
Ins apostles and disciples, teaching tnem (only) how to 
proceed in preaching, teaching, uniting believers in church- 
es,^ edifying, and enforcing his authoritative commands on 
liis people. He then blessed them, and went up till their 
eyes of flesh could see no farther. The tenth day after (the 
fiftieth from his resurrection) was Pentecost, the feast of 
weeks, and a great year of liberty among the Hebrews^ 
The apostles were in a room praying, and at the hour of 
nine o'clock, the hour that Jesus was nailed to the cross, 
the same hour of the day, he came down in the Spirit, and 4. 
then were the apostles inspired with the mysteries of the 
new kingdom, and in a few minutes, if not in an instant, 
the ministers could speak perhaps ten or twelve languages, 
and spake in every language to the people that day^. The 



47 



men mocked at first, but their laugliter was soon turned 
into mourning; for Peter launched into the deep, there let 
down his net, and caught a multitude. In conformity to or- 
der, this exhibition might continue until tlie sixth hour, 
which brought noon day: but instead of darkness till the 
ninth hour, it was a glorious light with the new kingdom. 
Perhaps it might take up three hours to baptise the three 
thousand converts, and plant them in the new church, or 
gospel kingdom, and that would bring on the ninth hour, 
or three o'clock p^st meridian. 

They were baptised indeed with water; this was gospel 
baptism? as to the ceremony; that is to say, in the name of 
of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Now if Christ be in» 
fer^ior to God, there must be imperfection in the believer's 
baptism. That those three thousand people had to give in 
their experience, one by one, previous to their baptism, 
then were marched to a certain water, and then dipped, in 
their clothes or naked, unless it was by a myracle; i am a 
Thomas in this. 

Peter encouraged the Jews to put on Christ, for the pro- 
mise was unto them and their children first ; then to the 
Gentiles, who were afar off. 

In the fifth chapter, we read of a man and his wife, pro- 
fessors, who kept back part of the price they sold their 
possessions for; both agreed to tell a lie, and both died! 
Peter said, Satan hath filled thy heart. Let lyars and half 
hearted christians take the alarm. 

CHAPTERS VI, VIL 

The first point that calls our attention is respecting the' 
scripture order of deacons. They appear to be temporal 
stewards in the christian church, that the spiritual stew- 
ards might apply their time to reading, prayer, and preach- 
ing. The apostle di& not even nominate ti.o i, only by cha- 
racter. Paul directed the church, even the whole church, to 
choose out seven: they did so, and the apostles laid their 
hands on them; not as an inferior class of ministers, for it 
would not have answered for them to leave the word and 
serve tables; neither were they called of God to the minis- 
try, but called by the people. Let men blush for thus vio- 
lating plain truth. ; 

It appears by the words of Stephea, that sinners can bar- 



48 



denitheir hearts, resist the spirit, and, like the deaf adder, 
shut their ears and eyes, stiffen their neck, and refuse the 
yoke of Christ. Stephen had views of heaven, and Jesus in 
the vision, at the right hand of glory, devoting his absolute 
authority to save or destroy. The prayer he made for his 
murderers showed a measure of the mind of Christ. What 
an assurance of heaven, saying. Lord, or Jehovah Jesus, 
receive my soul, or spirit! Reader, here you are taught to 
believe, that departed souls are no longer in time, but in an 
etern«il heaven or hell. Sin, cleaving to the departed soul, 
sinks it to hell; but the soul prepared by grace flies to hea- 
ven with a convoy. The experience of the martyr Stephen 
is the privilege of every true believer; not only their privi- 
lege, hut their safety, and due preparation to be received 
among the spirits made perfect. If any christian reader, 
who looks over my revealed impressions, and thinks per- 
fection not essential, or not attainable, let such h«mbly 
pray, and God will reveal this to him, as well as to others. 
The man Stephen was a perfect man, tliat is to say, full of 
faith and of the Holy Ghost, The soul is a recipient, a 
vessel, or measure, filled with the fullness of God, when 
perfect. A wicked^soui can fill up the measure of iniquity, 
until it is a vessel fitted for destruction. So a pious soul 
can be fitted for happiness. When the eye is single, the 
body is full of light; and as light increaseth,' faith inrreas- 
eth, and as faith increaseth, love increaseth; and perfect 
Idve will cast out fear. Thus the soul is changed from glo- 
ry to glory, by the spirit of the Lord. All who huinger and 
thirst after this grace, and wisely know that the end is not 
to be obtained without using the means, all such are perse- 
vering saints, and never do fall, but obtain, through faith 
and patience, eternal life. 

We re^d of great faith. Our Lord said, " I have not found 
so great faith, no, not in Israei." And again, « O ye of 
little faith." The apostles prayed, saying, Lord, increase 
our faith." Paul directs the church, saying, Him that is 
weak in faith, receive ye." 

In the 8th chapter we read of the bitter soul of a Jew 
against Jesus Christ and the christians. Chapter ix. 1. the 
language of the bitter spirit is nervous. Saul breathed out 
threats against the christians. Breathing is from the lungs, 
which directly corresponds with the heart, where the wick- 
ed spirit entered^ This same disposition, mor§ or less, still 



49 



rests in an unbelieving Jew as^ainst pure Christianity. The 
situation of the Jews» is the fulfilment of prophecy, even 
what themselves ignorantly and presumptuously predicted, 
when they txclaimed, saying, " His blood be on us and 
our children!" 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Philip went down to Samaria, and his labour was 
blessed to many. Among the rest, Simon the sorcerer was 
brought to believe, and received baptism. We hear no talk 
of his telling an experieuce of grace; but was found in a 
short time to be in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of ini- 
quity. What remarks shall vve make respecting Philip 
baptizirig the eunuch; a subject long occupied with some 
warmth, that is to say, whether or no the eunuch was im- 
mersed? It reads so: the eunuch was sitting in his chariot 
reading the 53d chapter of Isaiah, about the sufferings of 
Christ. Philip was taken up in the chariot, and preached 
jresus*to him: they came to a certain water, on the road, 
and the gentleman being thus proselyted, said, see here is 
water, what hinders^ me from being baptized? Philip tohj 
him, if he believed with his heart, he might. The experi- 
ence he toH was, he believed Jesus was the Son of God. 
They both went down into the water, Philip baptized him. 

It appears from the 16th verse, he did not baptise in the 
name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for the spirit 
had not fallen on the Gentiles in that quarter, (till after 
that) but they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. If 
Christ was less than God, that baptism would appear not 
valid. Whether the eunuch changed clothes, or was bap- 
tized naked, we know not. Philip, perhaps, had not a se- 
cond dress, but take it as it reads; if one >vent under wa- 
ter, so did the other. I expect they stood in the brink of 
the water, and the element was applied. 

CHxiPTER IX. 

In passing through this section vve read how the merci- 
ful Jesus Stopped the violent persecutor Sauk The glorious 
brightness from his divinity blinded the eyes of Saul, in 
mercy to his desciples, which terminated also in the salva- 
tion of Paul, His call to the ministry, was not a money 



so 



call; but that he would certainly suffer from Jews and 
infidels, Saul conferred not with flesh and blood, but in 
humble submission, asked, Lord, what wilt thou have mo 
to do, &c. Ananias was sent. — Saul was praying, blind, 
three days and nights, fasting. PauFs baptism should be 
closely observed. He received sight forthwith, arose and 
was baptized; he was then no longer the persecuting Saul 
the Jew, but Paul the christian. These words "forthwith'* 
he arose and was baptized. My impression is, it was done 
«pon the spot, in the house, after which he took some food> 
and was strengthened. 

CHAPTERS X, XI, XIII, XIV: " 

Here we have the sacred history of Peter, Cornelius, 
^c. Previous to this, Peter was a national predestinariani 
but God showed him by the vision that he was no respec- 
ter of persons. Being now fully persuaded that salvation 
was free for all, he went with the messenger. Cornelius 
met him, fell^t his feet! Peter took him up, saying, , "stand 
up, I myself am a man. No mere man must be worship- 
ped, and if Christ Jesus is only man, distinct from theFa- 
therj it is idolatry to worship him. But he is Lord God. 

Header, be candid: Jesus must be creator or creature, 
God, or man, or angel, or God and man in one divine per- 
son: now draw your conclusions. God can create a chain 
of beings in links of gradation, one above another; but, 
God did not create the Lord Jesus, but begat him, and ne- 
ver another. Could Deity beget a Son inferior to himself? 
Impossible. But the Lord Jesus thought it no robbery to 
declare himself equal with the Father, even in the days of 
bis humiliation. Therefore all men should honour the Son 
even as they honour the Father. 

The gracious visit Peter made to the house of Cornelius, 
where he preached the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. 
The report alarmed the church in Jerusalem, fearing their 
dear>apostle had gone beyond inspiration; and consequent- 
ly, Peter was called upon to give the church satisfaction, 
who humbly submitted to his trial. We may call it a ses- 
sion, before which Peter was tried; for the true church is 
the court of the Lord's house. This corresponds with the 
words of our Lord recorded by Matthew, chapter xviii.— 
This sh©w& the beauty, order and simplicity of the golden 



31 



days. The two grand points of the constitution of the pri- 
mitive church are the same as in heaven above, viz. Justice 
arid judgment. There were no high courts and low courts, 
composed of bishops and presbyters, to try souls in scrip- 
ture times; for the ministers, even apostles, were members 
of the ahurch in those days. The church, yea, any sister 
church, have a scripture right to select a committee to try 
causes and make the report, 1 Cor. vi. or try offenders be- 
fore the whole body. But as for Peter, he made his de- 
fence, rehearsed the matter by order; and the church glo- 
rified the Lord, that there was salvation for the Gentiles. 
Chapter xiii. 48. Here stands a text somewhat difficult 
for us to understand; some suppose it supports the doctrine 
of partial election; but that idea woufd contradict many 
plain texts. Some say it is not a plain translation; but let 
the scripture interpret itself; thus, when the apostles told 
the Jews how they had dispised and refused eternal life, 
behold we turn to the Gentiles. This made the Gentiles 
^ipd, and they glorified the word of the Lord: being thus 
prepared by grace, chosen in the mind of the Lord, they 
only wanted light and were easily brought to believe, be- 
ing thus prepared. Therefore, as many of the gr^at con- 
course as were thus qualified, believed that day. 

CHAPTER XV. 

Paul and Barnabus went round, confirming souls, per- 
suading the christians to continue in the grace, or favour 
of God. Why did he not tell them they could not fall from 
grace? Answer, Because he spake by the spirit of truth. 
People may depart fropi the faith, saith the spirit. Men 
may turn from the holy commandment, as Peter saith. 

I^iOok forward. The distress which arose about circum- 
cision, caused the great council to be called in Jerusalem^ 
in that one case of emergency. What calls our attention 
here is, whether this was a new revelation, as it was a new 
thing; or only a case of emergency. I suppose it necessary 
only in cases of the like; not to make laws, but to settle 
disputes. We have a people in our civil union, who hold 
the christian name, and undertake to hold religious union^ 
though every one is to enjoy his own liberty, and preach 
and teach his own doctrine and his different faith. One 
fiaay preadi Christ a' creature, the other may preach Christ 



52 



the creator, yet break no union! One holds John's baptism, 

which existed under the law; another holds tlie gospel bap- 
tism, which commenced £^t Pentecost; yet all is union! One 
will preach infant baptism, the other deny its validity; an- 
other holds the right mode to be immersion, the other bapr 
tises by effusion; and another tells his hearers that water 
baptism is obsolete: yet all in i^ood fellowship! They aim 
at a work as hard to accomplish as to Illustrate and show 
thee perpetual motion. They answer the inspired prophet 
Amos in the affirmative, that two can walk together thougk 
not agreed ! They aim to reconcile light and darkness. 
Our Lord affirms, that a house divided against itself can- 
not stand; but they suppose it cjjin. Paul wrote that tiiere 
must be no schism in the body. They hold, all may be 
schism, yet all be in union, though the joints be so disloca- 
ted. rTruth says, "be of one <nind;" speak the same 
tliitig." They say, all is union, though different faiths! 
God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to 
pray for them. In urder to finish (he story respectitig the 
great council at Jerusalem, we ask, who composed the as- 
sembly? The answf^' is, apostles, elders, and laity, even 
the whole church. The decision was by inspiration; there- 
fore the minutes of that council are pure scripture. 

CHAPTER XVL 

If the 14th verse my rciidcr will see the propriety of 
household baptism. Some people say, Lydia's household 
were all believing adults; we wait for proof. The next sub- 
ject that calls our attention is a subject of dispute, that is 
the. story of the jailor, his baptism, with his household. 
This report, as to the true order of it, is still in dispute; it 
reciuires serious attention. Fsrst. It is well known, and 
men of reading are my witnesses, that in those days, the 
cities were well walled in against the enemy; iron gates, 
or brass gates, with locks and bolts, at least two sets of 
guards round the prison walls; besides watchmen going 
about the city, exclaiming the hour of th^ night. Secondly. 
Those jails had several departments, besides the jailor's 
house, joined to the prison, with his necessary rooms. 
Thus Paul and Silas were cast into the inner prison, and 
their feet made fastin the stocks. Thirdly. The preachers 
prayed and sang praises; and other pmoners in their de- 



53 



partments heard the ministers praising God, with their 
bloody backs. See here, my honest friend, what a proof of 
the propriety of vocal singing. Who art thou thus to gain-say? 

Fourthly. Their prayer reached heaven, and God shook 
the earth, and the foundations of the prison were made 
to quiver. The jailer's part also shook, which awak- 
ened him and his family — all the doors flew open — the city 
awfully alarmed — guards deeply affected ! But how did 
they know what hour of the night it was? Answer, the 
watchmen cried aloud the hour. Midnight, says the word. 

Fifthly. It tells of the jailer's Condition and sudden con- 
version; and also of his orderly conduct. He brought the 
preachers out of the stocks into a room, perhaps his dwell- 
ing, and they preached Jesus to all in his house; if he. had 
infants they were part of the family, if they were not capa- 
ble of understanding, they were capable of being sealed. 
And the same hour, the jailor washed their stripes, and he 
and all his, straightway, during the hour of twelve, a 
little before one o'clock, were baptised. 

Sixthly. Then he brought them fiito his dining room, it 
is probable, and fed them; he rejoiced in and with his fa- 
mily. Soon as day appeared, the affrighted 'squires being 
informed that the preachers were safe, sent the Serjeants of 
the guards to order that those men be let go; not knowing 
what had privately happened. Paul refused to go out, say- 
ing, let the magistrates come and fetch us out. They through 
fear did so, and bid them leave the city, &c. 

If any man in his senses can believe that the family were 
carried, at that hour, through guards and gates, in the dark 
or with lamps, (the city alarmed) to a suitable water, with 
garments on or naked, were dipped, and went back through 
all, undiscovered—and Paul also, to play the hypocritep 
even refuse to go out in the morning: to believe in the doc- 
trine of immersion from this report, is to read one way and 
believe another. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

In this chapter you will find remarks on three particular 
points. First, The noble conduct of the noble Berians, 
They heard Paul preach the faith of Christ, the doctrine o^ 
the resurrection; but they could not understand him, and 
they were of too noble a principle to condemn what they 



54 



could not understand, and they were too- careful of their 
souls to risque their salvation on a mere implicit faith: 
therefore they acted under the influence of wisdom and 
prudence; memorised the substance of the doctrine, search- 
ed the scriptures of Moses and the prophets, from wht nee 
Paul drew his proofs; and many were converted and joined 
the order. 

Secondly. The heathens were under an impression that 
there was a Supreme, but knew him not; as the inscription 
testified, viz. " To the unknown God." 

The third point is. We are all tlie offspring of the crea- 
tor God, as the God of nature. Adam was the created son 
of God, and his soul was breathed into him; thus all bodies 
and souls came from the first body and soul: as God saith, 
♦« all souls are piine." And God in essence fills all duration; 
and therefore the way to come to the knowledge of him, is 
to feel after him by faith, in spirit, till happily your soul 
may find him in love, peace and joy. As our life is in his 
hand^ I think it strange we are not more afraid of him. 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Candid reader, notice how the Lord, according to his 
foreknowledge, speaks of thijjgs before they are seen by us, 
as though they were. Paul was encouraged to speak on, 
saying, no man should hurt you, for *« I have much people 
in this city " He saw their willing, teachable, coming souls. 
Some will urge, that these were partially elected from the 
foundation! Observe, election is of grace, and grace ap- 
pears to ail, teaching us. Those who will come to the light 
become the elect, through the sanctification of the spirit, 
unto obedience; but those vvlio refuse the light, and choose 
darkness, do remain reprobates concerning the faith. 

The next remark is this, the story of ApoUos, an elo- 
quent speaker, proving that Jesus was the true Messiah,, 
agreeable to the prophets; he being versed in the prophe- 
cies respecting Jesus, answering the description of the true 
Messiah. But Luke observes, he knew only the baptism of 
John. This is the interpretation: Apollos was one of John's 
disciples, and he joined the christian clfurch as John intend- 
ed, H« knew that John baptised nnto repentance, as a pi^- 
parative for the new kingdom. The gospel baptism, and 
the onysteries of the ij^w kingdo^^ he did not cooaprehend. 



55 



As great an orator as he was, private members could teach 
him. The church gave him a recommendation, and he did 
much good. Notice the 27th verse. The people believed 
through grace. The divine light is saving grace, it teaches 
and produces faith; but those who choose darkness, can 
never come to be believers. 

CHAPTER XIX. 

My reader will see in this section, unless he closes liis 
eyes, that the baptism of John was not, and therefore is 
not, the gospel baptism. John lived just in the close of the 
old dispensation, and in course ought to have ended near 
eighteen hundred years ago. Some of John's disciples join- 
ed the christian church in the town of Ephesus. Paul in 
his travels found them there, and asked, ifthey had receiv- 
ed the Holy Spirit since they believed? They answered say- 
^ ing, we have not so much as heard whether there be any 
Ho^y Grhost. This appeared strange, that people shoukl 
come out from among Jews and infidels, and take the new 
name, and never hear of the Holy Ghost. But they only 
had received John's baptism. 

CHAPTER XX. 

The primitive church is here called « the church of God'* 
—purchased with his own blood: by reason, the humanity 
was God's humanity, which must be divine; for, *• God Avas 
in Christ." Emanuel was God with us. Again: Paul 
called the preaching elders together, and gave them a sol- 
emn charge to take heed to themselves, and to the church, 
floc k unite^tljuniler care and government. Paul predicted 
what would certainly come to pass if those ministers dis- 
regarded the apostle's counsel; and it came to pass as the 
man of God had said. Many among the elders, (prelates 
were not born) were overseers to feed and lead the flock, 
not lords; they were the successors of the apostles, some of 
whom, who thirsted for dominion, wrested the scriptures, 
perverted the sense, and drew off" disciples from the sim- 
plicity of the gospel, and made divisions contrary to the 
doctrine which they had learned. Perhaps not dver fifty 
years after the apostles, the evil begun; but the most fataS 
of all the inaorations was that carried on by an elder of 



56 



Alexandria, whose name was Arius; who exclaimed, saying, 
Jesus Christ was a mij^hty one — but not the Supreme, 
He gained proselytes rapidly, and having gained the em- 
peror with the rjvil power on his side, he raised a despe- 
rate persecution against the followers of the old primitive 
track, who adored Christ as a very God, manifest in the 
flesh. These Arians held the christian name, but bore the 
fruit of savage cruelty — wolves in sheep's clothing, called 
christians. Socinius deriied the resurrection of the body, 
but was hard set to wrest the first of John's gospel, 
that the word that was made flesh was God. He perverted 
it, by saying, that the word was with God in unity of 
affection, but not in essence; and that Jesus was God only 
by office. But those greatly differed in other notions. A 
late company of people, low down in Virginia, near Norfolk, 
whose circular I have read, hold the Lord Jesus to be a 
great creature, but not equal to God the Father. They 
exclaim that their brethren may be part arians, part socin- 
lans, part trinitarians, yet remain in perfect union! Every 
minister may preach his own faith, baptize any way, or 
no way, yet all is union. Among the rest, I saw the name 
of Mr. Tate, and was made to wonder and to sorrow. They 
exclaim, the christian chtirch." They went out from us. 
We pray for them, that they may return. Those people 
are trying to reconcile light and darkness, truth and error; 
and to answer the prophet Amos, ii. 2. that two can walk 
together, though not agreed — as observed. Paul directs us' 
to be of one mind, in unity of faith, and have do schisms in 
the body: but those men tolerate all schism. Jude writes 
thus: Build up each other in the most holy faith. Those 
build up in unholy, or corrupt faith. One builds, the other 
pulls down! How is their church to be edified? Our Lord 
isays, a house divided against itself cannot stand — it is a 
Babel. Those are found in the north, east and west. Let 
all men know, that those who call themselves <« the christian 
church," but refuse to honor the Son, even as they honor 
the Father, are not of uS. Some of those in the west make 
light of the doctrine of atonement and intercession; but all 
pretend to he united in one body, though dislocated. 

We trust that the eternal Jehovah Jesus will raise up 
men of the pure order, to contend in the spirit of meekness 
against error, confusion, and anarchy. These men of any 
Mth^ say the hihh is our v»U of faith and government* 



57 



Reader only look at that.— This confusion is calletl by thiese 
men, ♦«liherr> of consc ience." Suppose civil citizens were 
thus tolerated, who could live? Here the rise and progress 
of episcopacy is sufficiently published, and made appear to 
be corrupt, as not of God. Human councils fixed a mod- 
erator; he became a metropolitan, a papa — -father — pope. 
Those priests that carry on the horrid business of the in- 
quisition, are all honored with the title of father. Let no 
minister of tlie gospel order in the christian churcb, be so 
called; unless it be by those to whom he is a father in the 
gospel — but not as a father in the church, on account of 
bis office or age. 

CHAPTERS XXI, XXII. 

Here we read of the sufferings of that d6ar man of God, 
even Paul, who shunned not, even at the risque of his life, 
to declare the whole counsel of God, and finally died a 
martyr for the truth. / 

The apostle, in making his defence, told his experience, 
how that Jesus told him, saying, I am Jesus, whom thou 
perseeutest." Notice the love of Christ to his people — 
persecute a true christian, Christ takes it as done to him- 
self; and every act of kindness done to one of his disciples, 
he receives it as done to himself — and it will be rewarded 
now, or hereafter. Candid reader, consider Paul's baptism 
from a Jew to the christian. Chap. xxii. 16. Just observe 
how it reads. He was directed to be baptized, and wash 
away sin. This shows water baptism signifies wash^ not 
dipi. Water applied appears most reasonable. 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Here begins Paul's hard law trial before spiteful priests 
and infidel govern^ors; the accusation was, that he was a 
heritic, a mover of sedition, a pestilent fellow; away with 
him from the earth, was the cry. But having'obtained li- 
berty to plead his own cause, he displayed his eloquence in 
such a masterly manner as to draw the attention of the 
court, though his arms were chained, so that he could not 
humour the subject as he would have done; but he not on- 
ly moved the passions but affected their hearts. He boldly 
charged Ms accusers with fallacy 5 for they could not sab- 



58 



staiitiate what they had reported. He made the governor 
tremble! He brought the king to be almnst a christian! A 
party of his persecutors were so enraged that they solemn- 
ly swore never to eat or drink until they had killed Paul; 
but his God, who is always above men and devils, deliver- 
ed him out of their hands, that serpentine malicious spi- 
rit against Christ and Ids people, h^appy for us in our day 
that Satan is so far chained. My reader will observe, in 
those days, christian was the rOyal name, which above all 
names, enraged Satan, Jews and infidels. When a chris- 
tian was brought to the stake to be executed, (a^ history 
reads) he was examined for the last time to see if he would 
recant and save his life; the last interrogative was, << art 
thou a christian?" If he answered, I am, he was rushed to 
the stake, bound and burned. This name was predif led for 
the new church, near 700 ^ears before the new kingdotii 
came. Isaiah Ixv. 15, Ixii. 2. A name that Jews and Gen- 
tiles put on when baptised b\ gospel ministers; but not by 
John the Baptist. Why say sonie (»f you, «* no matter what 
name we are called;" tliis is saving too much. Though 
names cannot save, yet it is safe to follow the word. 

If my friendly reader desires to hear any more of that 
blessed broilier Paul, let him read the remainder of the 
Acts; see his perils by land, by sea, his own nation, and 
infidels. But he fought manfully^ run and never fainted| 
finished his c(jurse, and is now where the author hopes 
soon to be. Amen.